After being arrested on January 28, JNU student and Shaheen Bagh committee member Sharjeel Imam on Thursday has been sent to 6 days of judicial custody by a Delhi court. Delhi police crime branch which was investigating Imam did not seek an extension of his police custody, which expired on Thursday. He was kept in police custody for 8 days since his arrest from his Jehanabad residence in Bihar.
Imam was arrested on January 28 for making allegedly inflammatory speeches at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi and in Aligarh. Complaints were registered against him in Delhi, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh -20 teams were deployed by the Uttar Pradesh police itself to track him down. While BJP, Shiv Sena, AAP, and several others have slammed Sharjeel's remarks, several have questioned the sedition case filed against him.
The controversy came to light on January 25 when BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra shared a video that features Imam, a key organizer of the Shaheen Bagh protests. In the video purportedly from Aligarh (AMU) 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."
He added, "Do you know what is happening to Assamese Muslims? NRC is already applied there, they have been put in detention centers. We may come to know that in 6-8 months all Bengalis have been killed - Hindu or Muslim. If we want to help Assam, then we will have to stop the way to Assam for the Indian Army and other supplies. The 'Chicken Neck ' belongs to the Muslims."