With the ongoing anti-Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens protests, activist and student Urvashi Chudawala was booked for sedition by the Mumbai Police on Monday for allegedly raising “anti-national” slogans in support of JNU student Sharjeel Imam at an LGBTQ event held at Azad Maidan last week.
Around 50 others were also booked under sections 124 (A) (sedition), 153 (B) (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) and 34 (Common Intention) of the Indian penal code, said Pranay Ashok, Deputy Commissioner of Police.
“We have registered an FIR against Chudawala and 50 others. We will call them to (Azad Maidan) police station for further investigation,” he said. The case was registered by the Azad Maidan police after a video purportedly of Chudawala raising the slogans went viral after the Pride Parade on February 1.
A police official said that the second-year Master’s student at Tata Institute of Social Science was at the forefront in raising the slogan “Sharjeel Tere Sapno ko Hum Manzil Tak Pahuchaege” (Sharjeel, we will realise your dreams). A complaint in this regard was lodged by former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya on February 2, he said.
Chudawala has gone missing after the case was filed against her. The development comes a day after a lower court in Delhi extended sedition-accused Sharjeel Imam’s police remand by three days.
Tweeting the video of a woman raising the slogans at the event, Somaiya had warned of staging a protest if the police failed to register the case against Chudawala and others.
Sharjeel Imam was arrested from Bihar’s Jehanabad on January 28 for allegedly making inflammatory speeches at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi and in Aligarh.
Sharjeel Imam, a PhD student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for Historical Studies, was booked in sedition cases lodged by several states for alleged “inflammatory” speeches made during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. In a video of the speech, he could be heard inciting Muslims to “cut off Assam from India” by occupying the “Muslim-dominated Chicken’s Neck”. The 22-km Siliguri Corridor, or Chicken’s Neck, in West Bengal, connects the northeastern states to the rest of India.