New Delhi, February 20: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Sharjeel Imam, held last month for his alleged seditious remarks, was brought to Guwahati by the Assam police on Thursday. He would be presented before a local court at the earliest, to seek his remand. The 32-year-old is charged under IPC section 124-A (sedition) by the Assam police for his alleged remarks to cut-off northeast from mainland India.
Sharjeel, an alumnus from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay where he was also employed as a professor, landed in row for a speech at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on January 13. As per the clip shared by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra, he could be heard saying that protesters should cut off the "chicken's neck" -- referring to the land strip which connects mainland India with Assam and the rest of northeast. Mumbai: Sedition Charges Against 51 for Pro-Sharjeel Imam Slogans at ‘Mumbai Pride Solidarity Gathering 2020’.
"Do you know what is happening to Assamese Muslims? NRC is already applied there, they have been put in detention centres. We may come to know that in 6-8 months all Bengalis have been killed - Hindu or Muslim. If we want to help Assam, then we will have to stop the way to Assam for the Indian Army and other supplies," he was further heard as saying.
After the video went viral, Sharjeel was booked by the police in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Assam, Delhi and Bihar under various IPC sections, including sedition. He was arrested from Jehanabad on January 28, after days of abscondment. His counsel argued that the video was twisted with a malafide intent, claiming that Sharjeel was only referring to "chakka jam" and not encouraging a secessionist movement to cut-off the northeast.
The proposed "chakka jam", the defence counsel claim, was aimed at pressuring the government to withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and scrap the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizenship (NRC). However, Sharjeel has found no relief so far from the judiciary.