The Queer Azaadi Mumbai organised a protest against the CAA and NRC on February 1 at the Azad Maidan. But to everyone’s surprise, suddenly the protest turned into slogan shouting in support of Radical Islamist Sharjeel Imam.
“Sharjeel tere sapno ko manzil tak pahunchayenge (Sharjeel we will make your dreams come true),” the protesters shouted in a video during a pride gathering. This very slogan has created a controversy amongst the political parties.
Senior BJP leader, Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “Strict action should be taken for chanting anti-India slogans. If current laws don’t permit, new laws should be enacted to stop such nuisances.”
The organisers of the event had initially planned to hold the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) implemented by the BJP. However, it turned out into something else. According to the organiser, the group that had raised this slogan was not known to them. Also, they were not aware about the content of the slogans till it went viral on social media.
PRO, Police, Pranay Ashoka said, “When it was brought to our notice that protesters were slogan shouting during the LGBTQ Parade, we took a strict action against the same. We are verifying the entire incident from the sources. Our main intention is to find out who all were involved in this and whether it was planned. And the investigation will take some time.”
When the controversial video went viral on social media on Monday, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya lodged a complaint at the Azad Maidan police station against pro-Sharjeel slogans that were raised at Azad Maidan during the LGBTQ parade. He also stated through his tweet that if the police failed to take action on the same within three days, he will sit on a “Dharna”.
On the other hand, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis hopped onto his Twitter handle and questioned the Uddhav led government, what is this going on in Mumbai? And why is the Maharashtra Government tolerating this?”. He also accused the Maha Vikas Aghadi for entertaining such an act.
Soon after the clip caught the eye balls of the citizens, they raised many questions about the organiser and Mumbai police.
After the video, the organiser released a letter on February 2 stating that they had taken orders from the Mumbai police to conduct the rally and have completely disassociated themselves with the slogan mongers further adding that they strongly condemn the radical slogans in support of schedule or any other slogan again the integrity of India.
The organiser claimed that the people indulging in sloganeering during the protest were not known to them and the shouting was stopped as soon as it was brought to their notice. In the letter, it was also mentioned that it will cooperate with the legal processes that may be required by the law.
Sharjeel Imam, a JNU student and anti-CAA activist was arrested on January 29 by the Delhi Police from Bihar’s Jehanabad district over his recent controversial comments on Assam. He said, “Assam should be cut off from the rest of India”. The Delhi Police had earlier lodged an FIR against Imam for sedition.
On its part, the Opposition is busy finding ways to corner the Uddhav Thackeray-led govt and take pot-shots at it.