News Brief

Was Anti-CAA Violence In Assam Pre-Planned? Sharjeel Imam, Who Called For Cutting Off Assam From Rest Of India, Reveals New Details 

Sharjeel Imam

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam, who shot to notoriety for his seditious ‘cut off Assam from rest of India’ speeches at Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh, had been visiting Assam since 2016.

Imam, who was arrested late last month from Jehanabad in Bihar, was brought to Guwahati on 20 February (Thursday) and is being interrogated by the Assam Police.

Sharjeel has reportedly confessed that he has been visiting Assam since 2016 and has been in constant touch with a professor of Gauhati University and a Delhi-based journalist who hails from Jorhat in Assam.

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He has also given the police the names of key people behind the anti-CAA riots that rocked Assam for four days from 11 December when Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced and piloted the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the Rajya Sabha.

Senior Assam Police officers said that Imam’s confession proves that the violent anti-CAA protests, in which public property was vandalised and torched, was pre-planned.

The scale of the riots had taken the state government by surprise. It was suspected that the violence was anything but spontaneous and had been planned in advance.

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The Assam Police are likely to arrest more people now. Earlier this month, the vice president of the state unit of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the students’ wing of the Congress, Zubair Anam Mazumdar, was arrested for his alleged involvement in December’s violent protests.

Assam Youth Congress president Kamrul Islam Choudhury was also arrested in end-January for his involvement in the anti-CAA riots in Guwahati.

Leaders of another Left-leaning organisation, which is charged with having links with the Islamist Popular Front of India (PFI) and have also been charged with involvement in the riots, have also been arrested.

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