Anti-CAA activist and mastermind of Shaheen Bagh protests Sharjeel Imam, who was on the run after sedition charges were slapped against him for allegedly making inflammatory statements was arrested from Bihar’s Jehanabad district on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020.
The police claimed he made divisive speeches on two occasions, once at the Jamia Millia Islamia University at the height of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in December 18, the other at the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh on January 16, another epicentre of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA, NDTV reported.
In the controversial remark, Sharjeel Imam had suggested Assam is cut off from mainland India. Imam made the remark at Aligarh Muslim University on January 16. In a clip on social media, Imam was purportedly heard telling protestors to “cut off Assam from India” by occupying the “Muslim-dominated Chicken’s Neck”. The comment was widely perceived as a secessionist one.
His alleged comments led to the registration of sedition cases against him in several states, including Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Sharjeel Imam is a 31-year-old student and after remaining in the teaching profession for some time, he joined a software company. He resigned from the service and joined JNU in 2017 to do a Ph.D. in modern Indian history Centre for Historical Studies (CHS). He is also a computer science graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Imam is the son of former Janata Dal (United) leader late Akbar Imam. He is the eldest of two brothers and his father contested the assembly elections in Bihar on JD (U) ticket. He died five years ago. Sharjeel Imam is a very brilliant student but his inflammatory speeches are most dangerous and can instigate chaotic hatred among Muslims for the majority community.
Sharjeel Imam was arrested from Tako area in Jehanabad after several police teams conducted raids across Jehanabad and other areas of Bihar. Latter on was flown down to New Delhi for further questioning. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on January 28 reacted about his arrest by Delhi police over his ‘Assam cut off from India’ remark. He said, “Nobody should do anything that is not in the interest of the nation. The accusations and the arrest, the court will decide on the matter.”