New Delhi: A three-member team from the Delhi Crime Branch led by Inspector Vivekanand Jha, who is himself a resident of Bhagalpur, Bihar, had gone to Jehanabad, Bihar, in search of Sharjeel Imam and it was Jha and his team, which had ASI Ravinder and Constable Mantu, that finally “apprehended” Sharjeel on 28 January from his hometown of Jehanabad.
Imam, however, through a Facebook post, had stated that he had surrendered.
Apart from Delhi Police, police forces from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, too, were camping in Jehanabad to nab Imam, but despite having the advantage of being a local force with larger manpower at its disposal, the Bihar police was not able to track him before the team that had come from Delhi could. Jha has already been a part of Special Cell and has worked in the team which had taken down notorious Patna-based gangster Guddu Sharma in an encounter in Patparganj in October 2005 and arrested Dawood gang member Fazal-ur-Rehman in August 2006 from the India-Nepal border.
Sources in Jehanabad said that when Imam was finally “apprehended” by Jha and his team and was being whisked away in a Delhi registered vehicle, they had a “tiff” with Bihar police over jurisdiction and it was only after the intervention of senior police officers based in Patna that the matter got resolved. Ultimately, it was Jha and his team that prevailed and they brought Imam to Delhi the next day and presented him before court. The police, as per sources, relied on technical surveillance to catch him. The police had been conducting searches across India and had apprehensions that Imam might cross over to Nepal, as a general theory which is applied when the accused is from Bihar. However, sources close to Sharjeel Imam claimed that he never intended to cross over to Nepal and surrendered after consulting with his close advisors. “The police arrested his brother to pressurise him to surrender which he anyway would have since FIR was lodged against him and he did not want to be known as an absconder. He has done nothing wrong. The police do not need to prove anyone anything while arresting someone. When the case is heard in the court of law, it will become clear that he did not do anything that he has been accused of. Look at the Kanhaiya case. He, too, was wrongly accused of giving anti-India statement. What happened?” a close associate of Sharjeel Imam said. Imam has done his schooling from Saint Xavier’s School, Patna, the same school in which BJP president J.P. Nadda had studied. Sharjeel Imam’s father, Akber Imam, who passed away four years ago, contested the October 2005 Bihar Assembly elections on a JDU ticket from Jehanabad. He lost the elections by less than 4,500 votes to the RJD.