Exposing the month-long protest at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, Republic TV stung Sharjeel Imam, a former organiser of the protests. In the expose, the stung organiser revealed that the riot-prone protests were leveraged by political parties-- primarily the BJP and the Congress party. Stung by Republic TV's News editor Amit Chaudhary, he further revealed that there was a chance of violence, since the inception of the protest.
He said, "Different types of people at different time zones. The chances of violence increased when the stage was all set. Then a cash collecting lobby arrived. I repeatedly asked them to donate food instead of giving cash. They used feel very bad about it." Shaheen Bagh, near Jamia Millia Islamia, has been a protest venue for a section of people opposed to the CAA and the NRC since December 15.
The stung organiser claimed that the Congress party and the Left took over the protests, with visits from their ex-MLAs. Further emphasising that a possibility of riots would benefit Congress and BJP, however, would be a loss for AAP, pertaining to the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections. He further asserted that Congress began to 'fuel protests from behind-closed-doors.'
"After we left, it was the Congress party that took over for the next few days. Their ex-MLAs were present for 4-5 days and Asif Khan was also present. According to me, after a point of time, they withdrew themselves and started fuelling the protest from behind closed doors. There are more people. The faction from JNU and Left. Not JNU, but people from Delhi's civil society and left-liberals," Imam said.
"This will benefit both the BJP and Congress. The loss will only be borne by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). I could see that. Even if a small riot takes place, it will be followed by polarisation. Hindu votes will go to the BJP and Muslim votes will go to Congress. Even if there are four seats, Congress which is currently at zero will be able to sweep 5 seats at least. Both the parties. Both parties will benefit from this. Only AAP will be at loss. Congress is not planning it, it is exploiting the situation. It is not even in Congress' control, even if they ask to vacate the place, no one will listen to them. Unorganised crowd can result in riots. And if anyone wants, they can execute it. This is what I feel," he added.
Occupying the stretch of Delhi's Shaheen Bagh area, people have been protesting, undeterred by the cold winters of the national capital. However, now frequented by politicians across party lines, the protest site at Shaheen Bagh is feared to have been converted into a political hub for leaders to propel their party's agendas. With the impending Delhi Assembly polls, the stage saw an evident hijack by political parties including--Congress, AAP, AIMIM and the Left.
Congress MP Shahi Tharoor on Sunday joined the Shaheen Bagh demonstration, and called the protesting women the "pride of the city." The Congress leader addressed the demonstrators who have been on an indefinite sit-in since the violence that was unleashed inside the Jamia Milia Islamia University in December last month. After Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar turned up at Shaheen Bagh on Tuesday. The Congress leader, during his address, extended his gratitude to the women of Shaheen Bagh who have braved all odds to sit on the protest against the Modi government.
A section of protesters at Shaheen Bagh, including Sharjeel Imam, who had been demonstrating against the CAA for the last 20 days, called off the road blockade on Thursday alleging "politicisation" of their "peaceful protest", though locals refused to leave the spot and continued with their agitation.
According to a report published by OpIndia, Sharjeel Imam who is a Ph.D. scholar from JNU had allegedly discussed burning the constitution one day ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the long-contested Ram Janmabhooomi-Babri Masjid dispute. Moreover, a video was posted by Facebook group ‘Muslim Students of JNU’ on 14 December 2019 - a day ahead of the Shaheen Bagh protests telling the crowds to block the roads of Delhi. He is seen instigating Muslims saying ' Don’t Muslims even have that much in them to shut down cities of north India?'