On Saturday, the Shaheen Bagh protesters released a statement on the controversial ‘Break India’ remark of Sharjeel Imam, one of the key organizers of the sit-in. The statement noted that the protest was being led by women and no person including Imam can be branded as the sole organizer. Maintaining that it was a non-partisan citizens’ movement, the protesters clarified that Imam’s contentious remarks were not delivered at the venue of the Shaheen Bagh protests. The statement clearly distanced the protesters from the narrative propagated by Imam and reiterated that there was no organizing committee overseeing the protests.
The controversy came to the fore when BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra shared a video earlier in the day that features Imam, a key organizer of the Shaheen Bagh protests. In the video purportedly from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, he is heard saying that 5 lakh people can come together and permanently cut the North-East from India. Moreover, he stressed that this was the only way in which the Indian government would pay heed to the concerns of the protesters.
In the video, Imam said, "If we have 5 lakh organized people then we can permanently cut north-east from India or at least for one month. Put so much (unclear) on the road that they cannot even remove it for a month. It is our responsibility to isolate Assam from India, then only they will listen to us."
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal evaded the question on Sharjeel Imam’s ‘Break India’ call. On being asked whether he still supported the Shaheen Bagh protests, Kejriwal reiterated that the AAP was with every citizen of Delhi. Maintaining that the Delhi government desired the welfare of every person of the national capital by providing good roads, ample electricity, good medical services, and good education, Kejriwal asserted that the country would progress only due to such developments.
On the other hand, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani challenged Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and other AAP leaders to clear their stance on the Shaheen Bagh protests. She contended that Sisodia had complete knowledge of the divisive slogans and the misbehaviour with journalists taking place at the venue of the Shaheen Bagh protests. Moreover, she made a big claim that a video had surfaced showing Imam with an AAP leader.