A sedition case has been filed against a woman in Bengaluru after she raised pro-Pakistan slogans at a protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA. Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who was present at the event, distanced himself and his party – All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) – from the sloganeering, saying, “We, in no way, support our enemy nation Pakistan.”
The young woman, identified as Amulya, is seen in a video urging the crowd to shout “Pakistan Zindabad (Long live Pakistan)” at the event organised under the banner of “Save Constitution”. Asaduddin Owaisi and two other men, apparently the organisers, rush to stop her from chanting the slogan; they try to take away the microphone from her.
“Kya bol rahein hain aap (What are you saying)?” the AIMIM chief tells Amulya as she persists. “The difference between Hindustan Zindabad (Long Live India) and Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Pakistan) is..,” the woman, in her mid-twenties, is heard saying but several men stop her midway.
Amulya was arrested last evening soon after the event; a sedition case has been filed against her. “We have filed a suo moto case against her under sections 124A(sedition), 153A and B (promoting enmity between different groups) and imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration),” senior police officer B Ramesh said.
She was denied bail later and sent to judicial custody for 14 days. A local court will hear her bail petition on Monday.
Attacking the AIMIM and Mr Owaisi, the Karnataka unit of BJP tweeted: “‘Anti-CAA Activist Amulya Leona shouts PAKISTAN ZINDABAD in the presence of AIMIM Chief @asadowaisi at Bengaluru. Truth is that protests against #CAA are a joint venture between Pakistan & Anti-National Forces led by @INCIndia. Those who support Pakistan should go there forever.”
Mr Owaisi, however, clarified that his party has no links with the woman. “Neither me nor my party has any link with her. The organisers should not have invited her here. If I knew this, I would not have come here. We are for India and we, in no way, support our enemy nation Pakistan. Our entire drive (against CAA) is to save India,” the AIMIM MP was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
JD(S) corporator Imran Pasha claimed she was sent by rivals to disrupt the event. The woman, he said, was not in the list of speakers and demanded that the police investigate the matter seriously, PTI reported.
Amulya’s father, while speaking to news agency ANI, said: “What she said is wrong. She was joined by some Muslims and wasn’t listening to me!”
A case has also been filed against several men, linked to a right-wing group, who threw stones at her home after the protest.
In a Facebook post last week, Amulya had praised all the neighbouring countries, including Pakistan. “Long Live India! Long Live Pakistan! Long Live Bangladesh! Long Live Sri Lanka! Long live Nepal! Long live Afghanistan! Long Live China! Long Live Bhutan!,” she posted in Kannada as she wrote about love for one’s own country and respect for other nations.
In the last two months, massive protests have been held in Karnataka and rest of the states across the country against the citizenship law. Critics say the law makes religion a test of Indian citizenship for the first time in violation of the constitution and, when used along with the planned National Register of Citizens, can be used to target Muslims who cannot prove their lineage.
The government, however, says the law is necessary to help those who have faced religious persecution in the neighbouring countries.
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