Patna: Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act activist Sharjeel Imam, who was on the run after sedition charges were slapped against him for allegedly making inflammatory statements, was arrested from Bihar’s Jehanabad district on Tuesday, state’s police chief Gupteshwar Pandey said.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University scholar was wanted by the police of several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Delhi.
“Sharjeel Imam has been arrested from his native Kako village in Jehanabad,” Bihar’s Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey said.
He is likely to be produced before a Bihar court where police will seek his remand for questioning. It is not yet clear whether he will be questioned in Bihar or taken to the national capital.
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 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 northeast and 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 shown in the video as saying.
Meanwhile, reacting to Imam’s arrest, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said people have the right to protest but nobody can talk about the country’s disintegration.
Kumar told reporters that police must have acted in accordance with law in arresting Imam and now the courts will take appropriate action.