Sharjeel Imam Sent to 5-Day Custody of Delhi Police Crime Branch

Imam had been booked for sedition and other charges for his alleged inflammatory remarks about Assam.

Updated30 Jan 2020, 09:27 AM IST
India
4 min read

A Delhi Court on Wednesday, 29 January, sent JNU student Sharjeel Imam to five-day custody of the Delhi Police Crime Branch.

Earlier during the day, Sharjeel was brought back to Delhi on transit remand, a day after being arrested in Bihar's Jehanabad.

Meanwhile, media personnel were manhandled by police at Patna when Imam was being taken to Delhi.

On Tuesday, Sharjeel, who had been booked for sedition and other charges in various states for his alleged inflammatory remarks, was arrested in Jehanabad by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch.

According to a statement from Imam’s lawyers, he surrendered to the police at 3 pm on Tuesday.

“He has full faith in the legal system and is fully cooperating with the investigation,” the statement said.

Imam also took to Twitter after his arrest, saying his “safety and security are now in the hand of Delhi Police. [sic]”

The force had deployed five teams to locate Imam, a resident of Bihar. Raids were conducted in Mumbai, Patna and Delhi.

Sharjeel Imam's brother and two more family members were also detained earlier on Tuesday, according to News18. They were questioned at the Kako police station in Jahanabad.

Among the states where Imam had been booked were Assam, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.

Assam DGP, Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said on Thursday, “We will bring him after taking a production warrant, our officer is also a part of the team that is interrogating him.”

‘Sharjeel's Words More Dangerous Than Kanhaiya Kumar's’: Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah slammed Sharjeel Imam on Tuesday, saying his speech was "more dangerous" than that of former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar.

Speaking at an event in Raipur, Shah said Sharjeel was arrested by Delhi Police and is being brought to Delhi to be put behind bars.

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the police must have acted according to the law for wrongdoing. “Protests are one thing, but nobody can talk about the country’s disintegration,” Kumar said.

On Monday, Jawaharlal Nehru University chief proctor had also summoned the research scholar to appear before the Proctorial Committee by 3 February, and explain his position on the alleged provocative speeches made by him, reported news agency PTI.

"A security report dated 27 January against Sharjeel Imam, has been received in the Chief Proctor's office from the Office of Chief Security Officer. The report has cited media reports saying Imam made provocative speeches at Aligarh Muslim University threatening the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country upheld by the Constitution," JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar said.

"The report also refers to several FIRs lodged against Imam by police of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and some other states," he added.

JNUSU on Imam’s ‘Surrender’ & Arrest

Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) in its official statement said that Imam's arrest “under the draconian charges of Sedition and UAPA by the police shows that Islamophobic targeting and amnesia for the purposes of communal polarization before elections has become the de-facto modus operandi of the BJP Government and its Godi Media.”

JNUSU which has expressed its strong disagreement with his statements and political opinions, they said that his arrest and “witch hunting” of Imam and his family members so close to the elections are "politically motivated" actions.

Earlier on Tuesday, Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) stated that while there may be disagreements with his remarks but that does not warrant a charge of sedition.

‘Seen Talking About His Strategy to Cut Off Assam & NE From Rest of India’

On Saturday, 25 January, Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the state government has decided to register a case against protester Imam for his “seditious statement” about Assam. Sarma alleged that Imam was “the main organiser of Shaheen Bagh protest.”

"Assam government has taken cognisance of this very seditious statement,” he added. He later also tweeted the clip in question, saying that he was “aghast at this brazen attempt by this person to create unrest in the country.”

Addressing a press conference, Sarma said that clips had surfaced of Imam’s statements, in which he declares that Assam and the Northeast should be cut off from the rest of India.

Assam Police had also filed an FIR under the anti-terror law UAPA against Imam for his speech, PTI reported.

‘Sharjeel’s Statement Twisted & Taken out of Context,’ Says His Mother

In a letter issued to the media, dated 26 January, Sharjeel Imam’s mother alleged that he was being victimised for a statement that was “twisted and taken out of context” by the media. She further claimed that the police and authorities were harassing and threatening their family.

“We believe in the rule of law and every cooperation has been promised. This high-handedness violates the basic human rights of the family members including and not limited to his elderly mother. We demand that police refrains from indulging in such actions,” the letter had said.

Sharjeel Imam Sent to 5-Day Custody of Delhi Police Crime Branch
(Photo: The Quint)

Imam's mother also alleged harassment at the hands of the police. In her letter to the media, she said that the authorities that Sharjeel protested against, were now harassing and threatening his family.

Further, the letter said that the constant abuse and threatening has traumatised her.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI and News18.)

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Published: 25 Jan 2020, 12:37 PM IST
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