A speech by Sharjeel Imam, a former Jawaharlal Nehru University student calling for the state of Assam to be cut off from India has gone viral on social media. Imam made the controversial remarks as part of the protests against the Citizenship act at Aligarh Muslim University, where he was invited to speak. Following an uproar over his speech, the Assam government has charged him with sedition and other offences.
A former organiser of the ongoing Shaheen Bagh protests in Delhi, Imam in his hour long speech at the AMU talks about the Constitution, role of politicians at anti-CAA protests, the nature of the protests across the country and also urges Muslims to stand together against injustices. Imam is a former student at the JNU with news articles refering to him as one of the chief organisers of the protests at Shaheen Bagh, where women have been protesting for over a month. However in a Facebook post dated January 2, Imam said he would no longer be organising the sit in protest.
In the viral video, Imam referring to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and its implementation in Assam says, "For example in Bihar there is a big rally everyday, take the Kanhaiya Kumar rally where five lakh people were present, the problem with that is if we have five lakh people organized, then we can cut Hindustan and North-east permanently. Even if not permanently, for one or two months we can cut, put things on the tracks that they take one two months to remove it. To cut Assam is our responsibility, Assam and India get cut then only they will listen to us...."
CONTROVERSIAL SPEECH MADE AT AMU, NOT SHAHEEN BAGH PROTEST
A 2.20 minute video from Imam's hour long speech has gone viral with many Twitter users wrongly claiming Imam made the remark at the Shaheen Bagh protests.
Sambit Patra, official spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party tweeted claiming 'this was the reality of the Shaheen Bagh protests'.
दोस्तों शाहीन बाग़ की असलियत देखें:— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) January 25, 2020
१)असम को इंडिया से काट कर अलग करना हमारी ज़िम्मेदारी
२)"Chicken Neck" मुसलमानो का है
३)इतना मवाद डालो पटरी पे की इंडिया की फ़ौज Assam जा ना सके
४)सारे ग़ैर मुसलमानो को मुसलमानों के शर्त पर ही आना होगा
If this is not ANTI NATIONAL then what is? pic.twitter.com/kgxl3GLwx1
Patra in a press conference held in Delhi on Saturday repeated the same false claim that Imam made the controversial remarks at Shaheen Bagh. Addressing mediapersons, Patra quoted the whole speech and said, "Yesterday a speech at Shaheen Bagh, which we will show later. In that speech the type of anti national things said...."
Rishi Bagree who has in the past tweeted several pieces of misinformation tweeted claiming, "True face of #ShaheenBagh protest"
Shashank Singh, Co-founder of the website Fact Hunt, a self-proclaimed fact checking platform tweeted the wrong claim.
Listen to Sharjeel Imam speaking at Shaheen Bagh. He wants to break Assam from India. He is an IITIAN n JNUites. He writes for The Wire n other left wing sites.— Shash (@pokershash) January 25, 2020
Important thing is @arvindkejriwal supports this. Every Delhites should know it! Share 🙏🏻
INDIA TV MISREPORTS
Hindi news channel India TV aired the video with the same wrong claim that it is from Shaheen Bagh.
ASSAM GOVERNMENT TO INITIATE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST IMAM
Following Imam's controversial remarks at AMU, Assam government said that they would initiate legal action against him for calling for separation of the Northeast from India. Himanta Biswa Sarma, finance minister, Assam said at a press conference that the state government would register a case against Imam.
Sarma said, "The main organiser of Shaheen Bagh protest (in Delhi), Sharjeel has said that Assam should be cut off from the rest of India. State government has taken cognizance of this seditious statement and has decided to register a case against him."
I am aghast at this brazen attempt by this person to create unrest in the country. He is seen inciting people and talking about his strategy to cut off Assam & North East from rest of India. We have taken cognisance and pursuing the matter to book this person as per law. pic.twitter.com/2Aju1G92KW— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) January 25, 2020
GP Singh, ADGP Law and Order, Assam police tweeted that an FIR has been registered against Imam under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code.
https://t.co/KRX67sN6bV An FIR has been lodged against Sharjil Imam for his speech and inter alia commission of offence u/s 13 (1)/18 of the UA(P)ACT read with section 153 A, 153 B and 124 A IPC at Guwahati Crime Branch Police Station. @assampolice @CMOfficeAssam— GP Singh (@gpsinghassam) January 25, 2020
BOOM found the video on Facebook, recorded by one of his supporters. The Facebook LIVE was uploaded on Jan16, 2020 with the caption 'Sharjeel Imam speaking at Bab e Syed (AMU)'. Bab e Syed is the main gate of the Aligarh Muslim University.
While the Facebook Live has since been deleted, we were able to retrieve a screenshot from the same.
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