Delhi Police’s Crime Branch on Tuesday (January 28) arrested Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) research scholar and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) activist Sharjeel Imam, who has been booked in a sedition case for delivering an inflammatory speech, from Bihar’s Jehanabad district.
“Sharjeel Imam has been arrested from his native Kako village in Jehanabad,” Bihar’s DGP Gupteshwar Pandey said. Earlier on Tuesday, police picked up a brother of Imam in a fresh attempt to trace the research scholar. Police had raided his ancestral home also on Sunday as it went hunting for him but Imam eluded the dragnet.
Imam was then taken to a Jehanabad Court that granted transit remand for the arrested research scholar. “We are trying to bring him to Delhi via the shortest possible route,” Rajesh Deo, DCP Crime Branch, Delhi Police, had earlier said. Imam was wanted by police in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Arunachal Pradesh.
A graduate in computer science from IIT-Mumbai, Imam had shifted to Delhi for pursuing research at the Centre for Historical Studies at the JNU. He was slapped with a sedition case after a video of his purported speech went viral on social media where he was heard speaking about “cutting off” Assam and the northeast from the rest of India.
“If five lakh people are organised, we can cut off the northeast and India permanently. If not, at least for a month or half a month. Throw as much ‘mawad’ (variously described as pus or rubbish) on rail tracks and roads that it takes the Air Force one month to clear it. Cutting off Assam (from India) is our responsibility, only then they (the government) will listen to us. We know the condition of Muslims in Assam… they are being put into detention camps,” he was shown in the video as saying.
Meanwhile, reacting to Imam’s arrest, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said people have the right to protest but nobody can talk about the country’s disintegration. Kumar told reporters that police must have acted in accordance with law in arresting Imam and now the courts will take appropriate action.
(With inputs from agencies)