CAA protesters are learning that there are differences between peaceful protests and calling for the destruction of the republic of India.
Activist Sharjeel Imam, who came in limelight during the ongoing protest in Shaheen Bagh, has been arrested from Bihar’s Jehanabad in sedition case by the Delhi Police. A case against Imam under IPC sections 124 A (an offence by words, either spoken or written causes disaffection against Government established by law), 153 A (promoting enmity between different religious groups with an intent to create disharmony) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) has been registered, the Delhi police said.
Imam had earlier courted controversy when he’d made a speech at Shaheen Bagh asking for Assam to be cut off from the rest of India and taught a lesson, as Bengalis — both Hindus and Muslims — are being killed or put into detention centres. In an audio clip, he had been heard saying that if he can organise five lakh people, it would become possible to “permanently cut off Assam with rest of India…if not permanently, then at least for a few months”.
This wasn’t the first time that Imam had exhorted Muslims to rise up against the CAA law. During the Jamia Milia protests in December, he’d argued that Muslims accounted for sizable portions of the populations of Indian cities, and if they could organize, they could bring major Indian cities to a standstill.
Imam had been a major figure in the CAA protests — on the day of the Jamia riots, when several buses had been burnt, he had been present next to AAP MLA Amanutullah Khan, who’d given a provocative speech following which the riots had taken place.
Imam has a degree from IIT Bombay and is currently working towards a PhD at JNU in Delhi.