Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Freedom Gender and Sexuality

Sedition charges against 51 including transgender activist for chanting pro-Sharjeel slogans

Organisers of the LGBT Pride solidarity meet where the slogans were raised have issued a statement dissociating themselves from those who raised the slogans

Sabrangindia 04 Feb 2020

Gay pride

Just days after a group of activists raised slogans supporting Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Sharjeel Imam at the Mumbai LGBT Pride solidarity meet that was held at Azad Maidan on February 1, Mumbai Police have registered sedition charges against them.

The activists raised the slogan, “Sharjeel tere sapnon ko, hum manzil tak pahunchayenge,” (Sharjeel we will make your dream come true) at the Mumbai Pride which was turned into a solidarity meet instead of the annual Queer Azaadi March (QAM) or LGBT pride parade this year. Mumbai Police had earlier denied permission to conduct the parade on it usual route from August Kranti Maidan to Girgaum Chowpaty, after rumours were circulated via whatsapp that slogans could be raised against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the government, at the parade. The QAM organisers then agreed to hold a solidarity meet at Azad Maidan on the condition that all slogans raised will be related to queer concerns.

However, a group of activists got together and started chanting the allegedly seditious slogans. Sharjeel Imam, a JNU students had in a viral video made allegedly seditious statements against the integrity of India. He remains in custody of the Delhi Police.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police have now filed charges against the activists chanting or-Sharjeel slogans under sections 124(A) (sedition), 153 (B) (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Transgender activist Urvashi Churawal has been named as a key accused in the case.

Police stepped up operations after both, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP leader Kirit Somaiya applied pressure. Somaiya had threatened to hold a protest if an FIR was not filed in the case. The QAM organisers have however, distanced themselves from the slogans. In an official statement released online QAM said, “We, Queer Azadi Mumbai (QAM), the organizing body of the Mumbai Pride Solidarity Gathering 2020, dissociate ourselves from and strongly condemn the radical slogans in support of Sharjeel and/or any other slogans against the integrity of India at the gathering on Feb 2 2020 at Azaad Maidaan, Mumbai.” They added, “It was irresponsible and potentially detrimental and none of the individuals raising these slogans were part of the organizing process or permissions process with us. These slogans, performances and protests happened abruptly and precipitously without the consent of the organizers.”

QAM insists that the slogans were raised at a distance from the main stage and that the organisers could not hear them clearly. The statement says, “However, as soon as the organizers realized that some sloganeering was inaudible on the stage, the organizers proactively used their microphones to stop all activities and clearly advised all the attendees that any sort of speech/slogan/communication within the gathering must happen from the stage and with official consent of the organizing members.”

 

Sedition charges against 51 including transgender activist for chanting pro-Sharjeel slogans

Organisers of the LGBT Pride solidarity meet where the slogans were raised have issued a statement dissociating themselves from those who raised the slogans

Gay pride

Just days after a group of activists raised slogans supporting Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Sharjeel Imam at the Mumbai LGBT Pride solidarity meet that was held at Azad Maidan on February 1, Mumbai Police have registered sedition charges against them.

The activists raised the slogan, “Sharjeel tere sapnon ko, hum manzil tak pahunchayenge,” (Sharjeel we will make your dream come true) at the Mumbai Pride which was turned into a solidarity meet instead of the annual Queer Azaadi March (QAM) or LGBT pride parade this year. Mumbai Police had earlier denied permission to conduct the parade on it usual route from August Kranti Maidan to Girgaum Chowpaty, after rumours were circulated via whatsapp that slogans could be raised against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the government, at the parade. The QAM organisers then agreed to hold a solidarity meet at Azad Maidan on the condition that all slogans raised will be related to queer concerns.

However, a group of activists got together and started chanting the allegedly seditious slogans. Sharjeel Imam, a JNU students had in a viral video made allegedly seditious statements against the integrity of India. He remains in custody of the Delhi Police.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police have now filed charges against the activists chanting or-Sharjeel slogans under sections 124(A) (sedition), 153 (B) (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Transgender activist Urvashi Churawal has been named as a key accused in the case.

Police stepped up operations after both, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP leader Kirit Somaiya applied pressure. Somaiya had threatened to hold a protest if an FIR was not filed in the case. The QAM organisers have however, distanced themselves from the slogans. In an official statement released online QAM said, “We, Queer Azadi Mumbai (QAM), the organizing body of the Mumbai Pride Solidarity Gathering 2020, dissociate ourselves from and strongly condemn the radical slogans in support of Sharjeel and/or any other slogans against the integrity of India at the gathering on Feb 2 2020 at Azaad Maidaan, Mumbai.” They added, “It was irresponsible and potentially detrimental and none of the individuals raising these slogans were part of the organizing process or permissions process with us. These slogans, performances and protests happened abruptly and precipitously without the consent of the organizers.”

QAM insists that the slogans were raised at a distance from the main stage and that the organisers could not hear them clearly. The statement says, “However, as soon as the organizers realized that some sloganeering was inaudible on the stage, the organizers proactively used their microphones to stop all activities and clearly advised all the attendees that any sort of speech/slogan/communication within the gathering must happen from the stage and with official consent of the organizing members.”

 

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

Why are Adivasis protesting against power projects in Ajodhya Hills?

Adivasis and local residents, opposed to the newly proposed hydel power project in the remote Ajodhya Hills in West Bengal, are heightening their prolonged protests against these projects. Watch this sabrangindia exclusive to hear what Adivasi Activists, local residents, forest dwellers and environmentalists have to say.

Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

Why are Adivasis protesting against power projects in Ajodhya Hills?

Adivasis and local residents, opposed to the newly proposed hydel power project in the remote Ajodhya Hills in West Bengal, are heightening their prolonged protests against these projects. Watch this sabrangindia exclusive to hear what Adivasi Activists, local residents, forest dwellers and environmentalists have to say.

IN FACT

Analysis

Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020

Archives