Guwahati: Sharjeel Imam, the Delhi scholar who was arrested during the peak of the CAA-NRC protests in New Delhi, has reportedly tested COVID-19 positive at the Guwahati Central Jail. reports said.
Sharjeel's COVID-19 positive status reportedly came to light after a team of Delhi Police Special Cell arrived in Guwahati to bring Sharjeel Imam back to Delhi. Before they were to leave, Imam and the Delhi police personnel were tested for COVID-19. While the police team tested COVID-19 negative following the test, Sharjeel tested positive for the contagion.
Dasarath Das, Assam's Inspector General (IG) of Prisons, confirming the development, stated that there are at least 435 inmates of the Guwahati Central Jail — which houses a little over 1,000 prisoners — who have tested positive. Several are being treated at a COVID-19 facility in Sonapur town located not too far from the state capital of Dispur.
Sharjeel Imam is a Computer Science graduate from IIT Bombay and a PhD student at the Department of History and Culture in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. He has been charged with sedition cases in five different states and is alleged to have instigated the December 15 Jamia Milia Anti-CAA violence. At one point, Imam gained notoriety after he was filmed while urging fellow protesters to cut off India's Northeast -- connected by the "chicken neck corridor" -- from the rest of the nation, and the video leaked online.
Sharjeel Imam was subsequently charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and brought to Assam; later, he was lodged at the Guwahati Central Jail. Imam is accused of conducting "inflammatory and instigating speeches" against the government on the CAA and National Register for Citizens (NRC) and was booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A, and 505. Imam's transfer is now reportedly postponed until he recovers from the disease and tests negative.