Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday condemned the remarks of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam, breaking his silence on the controversial matter.
His comments are condemnable. The Centre should arrest him. I appeal to the Union Home Minister to get him arrested immediately, the Delhi chief minister was quoted as saying by sections of electronic media.
Imam, a student activist and one of the main organisers of the sit-in protest at New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, has been accused of making seditious remarks during a public meeting in Aligarh on Jan 16. In a video of his speech, he is heard telling a crowd that the government would only listen to the grievances of the CAA protestors if they are able to “cut-off Assam” from the rest of India by obstructing the rail and highway routes.
After the video surfaced in the media, three separate FIRs were filed against him by police in Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Delhi.
Imam’s statements have snowballed into a major controversy ahead of the voting for the Delhi assembly elections on Feb 8, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) drawing a parallel between Imam’s political beliefs and the protestors rallying against the amended Citizenship Act in Shaheen Bagh.
While the Delhi CM has passed the buck on the Shaheen Bagh protest to the Centre, saying that it is the central government’s responsibility to negotiate a peaceful end to the agitation, his deputy Manish Sisodia has said that he fully backs the demands of the protestors.
The voting for the 70-member Delhi legislative assembly will take place on February 8, with the results set to be declared on Feb 11.