Indian police on Tuesday arrested a college scholar who has been concerned in organizing protests towards a contentious citizenship legislation after he made feedback that the ruling Hindu nationalist celebration stated had been seditious.
Sharjeel Imam shot to nationwide prominence when he helped to prepare a mass sit-in in New Delhi, one in every of many rallies staged over greater than a month towards a brand new citizenship legislation that the protesters say discriminates towards Muslims.
The 31-year-old historical past scholar additional angered nationalists within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Occasion (BJP) with what they stated was a seditious name for the restive northeastern area of Assam to be “minimize” from the remainder of the nation.
Final week, Sambit Patra, a BJP spokesperson, described Imam’s remark as a name for “open jihad.” The BJP has sought to depict him as a harmful insurgent in nationwide media and in celebration rallies forward of a state election in New Delhi on Feb. 8.
Chatting with Reuters shortly earlier than he was arrested within the jap state of Bihar, Imam, a Muslim, stated he had solely referred to as for railway and street hyperlinks to Assam to be disrupted as a part of the continued marketing campaign of protests towards the citizenship legislation.
Imam additionally stated the BJP was making an attempt to vilify him as a way to discredit the largely leaderless protest motion forward of the Delhi state election.
“They wish to discredit educated Muslims who converse up,” stated Imam, a scholar at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru College, recognized for its leftist activism and opposition to the BJP authorities.
Police officer Rajesh Deo stated Imam had been discovered after a three-day search in Bihar and can be moved to Delhi to face expenses of sedition.
In an announcement, Imam’s legal professionals stated he was totally co-operating with the investigation.
The citizenship legislation goals to fast-track Indian citizenship for non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring international locations.
Many Indians say the legislation is discriminatory towards the nation’s giant Muslim minority and violates the nation’s secular structure.