More states file FIR against anti-CAA activist Sharjeel
New Delhi/Jehanabad/Imphal: Police teams from Bihar and Delhi conducted multiple raids in different parts of the country to nab anti-CAA activist Sharjeel Imam, who has been booked on sedition and other charges in several states for his alleged "inflammatory" speeches, but he eluded the dragnet, officials said on Monday.
Police in two northeastern states--Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh-- also lodged FIRs against Imam, one of the organisers of the Shaheen Bagh protest, over his speech in which he threatened to "cut off" Assam and the northeast from the rest of the country. He had been booked in Assam and Uttar Pradesh earlier.
In Bihar, Jehanabad Superintendent of Police Manish Kumar said police swooped on Imam's ancestral house in Kako police station area on Sunday night after "help was sought by central agencies".
Imam was not to be found but two of his relatives and their driver were detained for interrogation and let off thereafter, the officer said.
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, which has registered a sedition case against him, has deployed five teams to locate Imam and conducted raids in the national capital, Mumbai and Patna. However, he could not be found.
"Taking cognisance of the objectionable video of Mr Sharjeel Imam, in which he threatened to sever Northeast from the rest of country, the Manipur Police has filed an FIR (No. 16(1)2020 IPS) under sections 121/121-A/124-A/ 120-B /153 IPC," Rajat Sethi, an adviser to the Manipur chief minister tweeted. Singh retweeted it. The case was filed on Saturday.
The crime branch of Arunachal Pradesh police also filed a similar case against Imam on Sunday, Special Investigation Team (SIT) SP Dr Navdeep Singh Brar said. The SIT has already begun investigating the case. "This kind of provocation inciting secession of Assam & other NE states from rest of India, creating communal disharmony, hampering sovereignty & territorial integrity of India will not be tolerated," Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted.
If convicted, he could be imprisoned for life.
A graduate in computer science from IIT-Mumbai, Imam had shifted to Delhi for pursuing research at the Centre for Historical Studies at the JNU.
He was slapped with a sedition case after his alleged speeches went viral on social media where he was heard speaking about "cutting off" Assam and the northeast from India.
Earlier, he had been booked on similar charges by Aligarh police in Uttar Pradesh for a speech he delivered on the AMU campus.
The cases were lodged after Imam's purported video emerged where he spoke about cutting off the northeast from India if "five lakh people stand organised".
Assam police has already lodged a case against him under the anti-terror law--the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act.
Following the FIRs, chief proctor of the JNU summoned Imam to appear before him by February 3 and explain his position on the alleged provocative speeches made by him.
In his hometown Jehnanabad, Imam's mother Afshan Rahim reacted with anguish to the developments and claimed her son was innocent.