Amit Shah, Kejriwal lock horns over Shaheen Bagh row

Amit Shah, Arvind Kejriwal lock horns over sedition cases against JNU student, anti-CAA activist Sharjeel Imam

As the BJP upped the ante on Shaheen Bagh protests, Shah asked the AAP chief to visit the protest site so that people could decide whom to vote in the Assembly elections while Kejriwal retorted saying he was the Home Minister and asked why he has not been arrested till now.

The war of words between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union Home Minister Amit Shah continued on Monday with the leaders locking horns over the case of sedition against JNU student and anti-CAA activist Sharjeel Imam.

As the BJP upped the ante on Shaheen Bagh protests, Shah asked the AAP chief to visit the protest site so that people could decide whom to vote in the Assembly elections while Kejriwal retorted saying he was the Home Minister and asked why he has not been arrested till now.

Imam, who is considered to be one of the organisers of the Shaheen Bagh protests, has been booked by police on charges of sedition for his comments that if Assam is cut off from the rest of India, then the government will have to scrap Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Shah said Imam has been booked for his comment of "trying to cut the chicken's neck" and break the northeast from the rest of the country.

"You (the AAP leaders) people say that you are with Shaheen Bagh. If you have the guts then go and sit with them. And let Delhi decide...I want to ask Kejriwal whether he is in favour of apprehending Sharjeel Imam or not? Whether you are with the people of Shaheen Bagh or not, please tell the people of Delhi," Shah said addressing an election rally in Rithala.

In a tweet, Kejriwal accused Shah of playing "petty politics" over the issue. "Sharjeel talked about separating Assam from the country. It is very serious. You are the country's home minister. This statement of yours depicts petty politics. It is your duty to immediately arrest him. He made the statement two days back, why are you not arresting him? What is the compulsion or do you want to do more dirty politics on the matter?" Kejriwal said.

Imam is presently pursuing research at the Centre for Historical Studies at the JNU and the varsity administration has now issued a notice to him seeking his explanation for his controversial comments.

At a press conference, Union Law Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that the Shaheen Bagh protest was emerging as a "textbook case of a few hundred people trying to suppress the silent majority".

"Now, this place is not a piece of land rather it has become a thought process where a forum has been given to the people willing to split India under the Indian flag, where the Tukde-Tukde gang stands behind and the mind of innocent children are being poisoned to speak about killing the Prime Minister," Prasad said.