Reacting to Republic TV’s sting on an organizer of the Shaheen Bagh protest, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli on Sunday raised questions over the intention of the protest. He also highlighted that the agitation was causing a lot of inconvenience to everyone, irrespective of religion. At the same time, he conceded that people had to the right to protest peacefully.
BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli remarked, “Every Indian citizen has a right to protest in a manner that is peaceful and additionally should not cause inconvenience to another Indian citizen. In the Shaheen Bagh protests, they will have to reflect on the fact that other Indian citizens are suffering on a daily basis. And those citizens include Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians- whoever is using that road."
He continued, "It is a public property, not a private property. And lastly, when this kind of information comes out in the public domain as your sting, questions will be asked about your motive, the intention and whether it is really about one’s rights, whether it is really about a peaceful protest or are there other intentions linked to it?”
In a sensational investigation, Republic Bharat’s News Editor Amit Chaudhary nailed the role of Sharjeel Imam, an organizer of the protests in Shaheen Bagh, against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. First, he discovered a video of Imam, a JNU PhD scholar on a Facebook group titled ‘Muslim Students of JNU’ on December 14. In the video, Imam is allegedly seen instigating the minorities outside Jamia Millia Islamia University a day before the protests broke out in the varsity.
To uncover the truth behind the Shaheen Bagh protests, Chaudhary decided to conduct a sting operation on Imam. In the conversation, Imam admitted that 10,000 to 15,000 pamphlets were published and distributed in various parts of the national capital on December 6. This indicates the possibility that the protest was pre-planned and had organizational backing, and not organic as had been claimed. Furthermore, Imam revealed that the thought process behind blocking the entire road was to garner international attention.
On January 2, Imam- a member of the Shaheen Bagh Coordination Committee contended that it was necessary to end the protests. He claimed that the protest had been hijacked by political parties and predicted that BJP wanted to create a confrontation to tarnish the peaceful protest. However, the protests have continued at Shaheen Bagh, where political leaders belonging to the opposition such as Mani Shankar Aiyar and Shashi Tharoor have spoken to the audience.