JNU’s Sharjeel arrested in Bihar

The Asian Age.  | Bhaskar Hari Sharma

India, All India

Student faces charges of sedition; to be brought to Delhi, face Saket court today.

Sharjeel Imam

New Delhi: In a joint operation, the Delhi police crime branch along with the Bihar police on Tuesday arrested JNU student Sharjeel Imam, booked in a sedition case, from Jahanabad area of Bihar. The Ph.D. student at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for Historical Studies has been booked in sedition cases lodged across several states for alleged “inflammatory” speeches made during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. “We arrested Sharjeel Imam from Jahanabad,” said DCP (crime branch) Rajesh Deo.

Following two speeches, in which Imam (32) said “to cut off Assam” during the anti-CAA protests at Jamia Millia Ismalia in Delhi and Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, law enforcement agencies in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi had registered cases against Imam under various sections, including sedition. Imam was on the run since then. Imam had disappeared from the police radar on January 25 evening and he was last seen at a meeting in Phulwari Sharif, Bihar, the DCP said.

Sharjeel Imam’s lawyers have claimed that he had surrendered to the Delhi police at 3 pm on Tuesday, after a notice under Section 160 CrPC was issued on Monday by the crime branch. One of them said: “He will be brought to Delhi for production before the magistrate. He has full faith in the legal system and is fully cooperating with the investigation.”

The Delhi police, however, denied this, and reiterated that it had arrested Mr Imam. Sources said Sharjeel Imam will be brought to Delhi on Wednesday.

A graduate in computer science from IIT Mumbai, Imam had shifted to Delhi for pursuing research at the Centre for Historical Studies at JNU after working in a software company for almost two years. The DCP said two videos had come to light, one on December 13 at Jamia and the other on January 16 at Aligarh, and it was noticed that Sharjeel Imam had delivered very inflammatory and instigatory speeches opposing the CAA and NRC, adding that such comments can potentially affect religious harmony and weaken the unity and integrity of the country.

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“On January 25, an FIR was lodged against the JNU student under Section 124 A (sedition), Section 153A

(promoting enmity between different religious communities) and Section 505 (remarks that may lead to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code, but Iman was on the run,” said the DCP.

“A team was dispatched to Bihar. The team was in touch with the Patna and Jahanabad police and was

continuously conducting raids. On Monday, Sharjeel’s brother Muzmil was interrogated. On the basis of the interrogation, vital clues regarding Sharjeel were obtained and based upon the leads, the team was successful in apprehending him on Tuesday at about 2 pm,” the police said.

“He has been arrested and his transit remand is being sought from Bihar’s local court. After obtaining the transit remand he will be brought to Delhi and will be produced in the Saket court,” the police added.

A video of Sharjeel Imam during the CAA protest at Jamia went viral on the social media. In his speech, Sharjeel said 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.

“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 said.

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