New Delhi: Former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani, who was booked for sedition in connection with an event at the Press Club of India in support of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, was arrested in the wee hours on Tuesday.
"Geelani was arrested around 3 AM at the Parliament Street police station under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly)," DCP (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal said.
Geelani was called to the police station last night where he was detained and questioned for several hours, and later arrested. After his arrest, he was taken to RML Hospital for a medical examination, he said.
The detention comes amid the raging controversy over the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar under sedition charges. He was arrested after an event was held in the university campus in support of Afzal Guru on February 9, during which anti-India slogans were raised.
It triggered a countrywide students' protest and the opposition parties have accused the government of overreaction on something that could have been handled within the institution.
On February 10, a group allegedly shouted slogans hailing Guru at the Delhi Press Club, following which the police registered a case of sedition, criminal conspiracy and unlawful assembly against Geelani and unnamed persons.
Geelani, police said, was booked as he is supposed to be the main organiser of the event. "The request for booking a hall at the Press Club was done through Geelani's e-mail and the event was proposed to be a public meeting, which did not turn out to be so," a senior police officer said.
After a case of registered, the police questioned DU professor Ali Javed, a Press Club member, who had booked the hall for the event for two consecutive days.
Geelani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case. But two years later, he was acquitted by the high court for want of evidence. In August 2005, the decision was upheld by the Supreme Court, which, however, said that the "needle of suspicion" pointed towards him.