Three fresh cases have been filed against JNU student Sharjeel Imam for a speech he made against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Aligarh Muslim University on January 16. Imam, who was previously one of the organisers of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, is already facing two sedition cases filed by Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Sunday said Itanagar Crime Branch has registered a sedition case against Imam in connection with his January 16 speech.
“This kind of provocation inciting secession of Assam & other NEstates from rest of India, creating communal disharmony, hampering severeignty & territorial Integrity of India will not be tolerated. Crime branch Itanagar have registered Case no.2/2020 U/S124(A)/153(A)153(B) IPC,” Khandu tweeted.
The Manipur government also took cognisance of Imam’s speech and filed an FIR in the matter.
“Taking cognisance of the objectionable video of Mr Sharjeel Imam, in which he threatened to sever Northeast from the rest of country, the Manipur Police has filed an FIR (No. 16(1)2020 IPS) under sections 121/121-A/124-A/ 120-B /153 IPC,” tweeted Rajat Sethi, an advisor to Manipur CM.
While the Delhi Police Crime Branch registered a case under Section 153 of the IPC (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) against Imam. Earlier, Assam and Uttar Pradesh Police have registered sedition cases against Imam for a speech he made against the citizenship law at Aligarh Muslim University on January 16. Meanwhile, a police team from Uttar Pradesh has been sent to arrest him from Delhi.
An active volunteer at the Shaheen Bagh protest since it began on December 16, Sharjeel Imamhad left on January 2 after the protesters rejected his call to end the stir. In his January 16 speech too, Imam criticised the Shaheen Bagh protest as having become an “exotic getaway” for Delhi’s civil society.
Calling Imam the “main organiser of the Shaheen Bagh protests,” Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “This entire agitation — Shaheen Bagh or rest of India — has been caused by members of a community who want to destroy India, create another Pakistan out of India.”
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed that Imam had made a speech, where he called for stepping up the protests in Assam through roadblocks to force the Centre to listen, at Shaheen Bagh on January 24. He said it was “a classic case of jihad” and “a conspiracy was brewing at Shaheen Bagh to end India’s Independence”.
Talking to the Sunday Express Imam said he was saying to “to peacefully block roads wherever possible.” “In that context, I said you have to block roads going to Assam. It was basically a call for chakka jam…They can put cases on me by editing these clips, but there is nothing that they can prove.”
In the video of the speech available on social media, Imam can be heard telling a small crowd that no political formation, the Congress or the Communists, had ever stood with Muslims, believing that the Constitution would emancipate Muslims was “a suicidal thought”, and that they must “use the anger productively”. “If we have five lakh people with us, we can cut off the Northeast from India. If not permanently, for one or two months. Put rubble on tracks and roads…. Assam aur India katke alag ho jaaye, tabhi ye humari baat sunenge (Once Assam is cut off, then only they will listen to us)… We can do that because the Chicken’s Neck corridor (connecting Northeast to rest of India) is dominated by Muslims.”
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