Student Activist Sharjeel Imam Tests Positive For COVID-19 In Guwahati Central Jail

Dasarath Das, Assam’s Inspector General (IG) of Prisons said that till now at least 435 inmates of the Guwahati Central Jail out of over 1,000 prisoners have tested positive for the deadly virus.

Assam   |   22 July 2020 5:34 AM GMT
Writer : Navya Singh | Editor : Prateek Gautam | Creatives : Abhishek M
Student Activist Sharjeel Imam Tests Positive For COVID-19 In Guwahati Central Jail

Image Credit: India Today

Jawaharlal Nehru University PhD student Sharjeel Imam, who is currently lodged in Guwahati Central Jail for an alleged inflammatory speech at an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest last year, tested positive for the COVID-19 on July 21.

Dasarath Das, Assam's Inspector General (IG) of Prisons said that till now at least 435 inmates of the Guwahati Central Jail out of over 1,000 prisoners have tested positive for the deadly virus.

Imam was arrested after his comments calling for Assam to be "cut off" from the rest of the country, which he had explained as a call for "chakka jam". He was an active volunteer at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Imam is accused of conducting "inflammatory and instigating speeches" against the government on the CAA and National Register for Citizens (NRC) and was booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A and 505.

Earlier, activist Akhil Gogoi and his associates Bittu Sonowal and Dhairjya Konwar lodged with Imam in the Guwahati jail also tested positive for COVID-19. Former Bodo insurgent leader Ranjan Daimary also tested positive in the same jail.

Meanwhile, the Assam Human Rights Commission has taken cognisance of a complaint made by the Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, pertaining to the spread of COVID-19 in the Guwahati jail.

On July 20, the Commission ordered the Chief Secretary of Assam and the IG of Prisons to submit a report by August 5.

Last week, Assam's Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited the jail and medical and all other facilities. "I have instructed officials to ensure best medical care, food and other facilities," he tweeted after the visit.

Also Read: Varavara Rao Is 'Almost On His Deathbed': His Lawyer Tells Bombay High Court

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