Delhi Police on Wednesday said Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam began one of his alleged inflammatory speeches with As-salamu alaykum salutation, which shows it was addressed to a particular community and not the public at large.
Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad, representing the police, made the remarks during the argument in a sedition case filed against Mr. Imam for speeches made by him at two universities in 2019, where he allegedly threatened to “cut off” Assam and the rest of the northeast from India.
During the hearing, Mr. Prasad apprised Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that Mr. Imam attempted to create complete anarchy and gave divisive speeches during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens.
The SPP read out a January 16 speech given by Mr. Imam in Aligarh and said: “He [Sharjeel Imam] begins this speech by saying As-salamu alaykum, which shows that it is only subjected to one community”.
“The people called upon to take action were also from one community. The speech was definitely divisive. It was not made for the general public at large but a specific community. He is attempting to create complete anarchy,” Mr. Prasad added.
At two universities
The alleged inflammatory speeches were made by Mr. Imam at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019, and at Aligarh Muslim University on December 16, 2019. He has been in judicial custody since January 2020.
In the three-hour-long virtual hearing, Mr. Prasad emphasised that Mr. Imam is not a simple pickpocket or small-time drug peddler but a man with excellent oratory skills, who has written a thesis on rioting and has knowledge of how a critical mass can come together.
Mr. Imam is accused of offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and has also been charged under IPC Sections for sedition, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, imputations prejudicial to national integration, and public mischief.
The police had filed a chargesheet against Mr. Imam in the case, in which it alleged that he gave speeches inciting hatred, contempt, and disaffection towards the Centre and instigated the people which led to the violence in December 2019.