Patna: After evading arrest for almost a week, activist and JNU student Sharjeel Imam was arrested from Bihar’s Jehanabad on Tuesday. The Delhi Police had earlier detained his younger brother Muzammil and three of his associates for questioning. Sources, however, said that Sharjeel Imam was picked up from Kako locality in Jehanabad during a raid on Tuesday.
A joint police team from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh with logistic support from Bihar police had earlier conducted multiple raids across the state including his ancestral home at Kako in Jehanabad and Patna to trace his whereabouts.
“Bihar police provided all kind of support to Delhi Police team which had arrived here to arrest Sharjeel Imam. After all legal formalities he will be handed over to Delhi Police team and they can take him to Delhi for further investigation,” ADG -headquarters Jitendra Kumar told reporters.
Reacting on Sharjeel Imam’s arrest, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters in Patna that, “nobody should be allowed to speak or do anything against the interest of our country. The matter is being investigated by the police and the court will decide on the issue.”
Sharjeel Imam, a post-graduate in computer science from IIT Mumbai is currently doing research in Modern India history at JNU. A day earlier his mother and uncle had called him “innocent” and claimed that cases registered against him were “politically motivated”.
His father who passed away a few years ago was associated with JD(U) and had also unsuccessfully contested 2005 Assembly polls from Jehanabad against the RJD.
“He was concerned about CAA and NRC but I don’t think he gave the speech to provoke people. Our family believes in the Constitution and has full faith in the law of the land. His speeches have been twisted for political gains,” Sharjeel Imam’s uncle had said after police raided his ancestral house on Monday.
Sharjeel Imam was slapped with charges of sedition and inciting enmity between communities under section 124A, 153A and 505 of the IPC. The Delhi and UP police had booked him after his alleged speech went viral on the social media recently. The JNU scholar was wanted by police of several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Delhi.
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 North-East from 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 seen in the video as saying.
Meanwhile, the lawyer of Sharjeel Imam claimed that the anti-CAA activist had “surrendered” before the police.
Adv. Mishika Singh told reporters that Imam was willing to cooperate in the investigation. Whereas, on his Twitter account, Imam said, “I have surrendered to the Delhi Police on 28. 1. 2020 at 3 PM. I am ready and willing to operate with the investigation. I have full faith in due process of law. My safety and security are now in the hand of Delhi Police. Let peace prevail.”...