Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Varun Sharma, Abhishek Sharma
A student activist has been slapped with sedition charge and has been sent to 14-day judicial custody on Friday, 21 February, for raising a pro-Pakistan slogan at an anti-CAA event in Bengaluru, which was attended by AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
A case has been registered under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code against the woman, identified as Amulya Leona, police earlier told The Quint.
On Friday, a mob vandalised the house of the woman by pelting stones and broke several windows. The police have moved Amulya’s parents and are providing them protection.
The student activist was earlier detained by the Bengaluru police after she created a ruckus shouting “Hindustan Zindabad and Pakistan Zindabad” a few times before the mic was taken away from her at an event attended by Owaisi.
“The difference between ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ is…” Leona can be heard saying, as the mic was snatched from her.
Speaking to ANI, police also said that they have registered a case against Leona under section 153 A & B (promoting enmity between different groups, & imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration).
Leona, was invited by the organisers of the event under the banner of ‘Save Constitution’ to address the gathering, soon after Owaisi came on stage, PTI reported.
After the incident, right-wing activists also attacked Leona’s father and questioned his patriotism.
“We haven’t come to kill you...Are you defending your daughter’s act? Are you patriotic? Will you let her enter your house again? Say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’” the right-wing activists can be heard saying in a video accessed by The Quint.
Leona’s Facebook Post Reveal What She Meant to Say
A Facebook post by Leona a few days back on 16 February surfaced after the incident which showed the teenager meant to convey the point that humanity should be more important that the territorial idea of a nation state.
A translation of the original Kannada message seemed to indicate what Leona was going to say before she was stopped at the event:
“Hindustan zindabad, Pakistan zindabad, Bangladesh zindabad, Sri Lanka zindabad, Nepal zindabad, China zindabad, Afghanistan zindabad, Bhutan zindabad. Whichever country it may be, zindabad to all countries,” she wrote.
She further wrote, “Children are taught that country means territory. But we, the children, want to tell you that a country is made of its people. Every person is entitled to basic amenities and citizenship rights. The government of all the countries should look after its people. Zindabad to everyone who works in the service of people.”
My Party Doesn’t Support It: Owaisi
Meanwhile, Owaisi has distanced himself and his party from the incident.
“The statement made her (by the girl) is wrong. I’m not associated with it. My party does not support it. As long I’m alive, Inshallah, I will shout Bharat Ma ki jai” Owaisi said.
“The organisers should not have invited her here,” he added.
Karnataka Congress also condemned her remark and urged the state government to take appropriate action.
ಶತ್ರು ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಕ್ಕೆ ಜಿಂದಾಬಾದ್ ಕೂಗಿದ್ದು ತಪ್ಪು ಇದು ಖಂಡನೀಯ.— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) February 20, 2020
ಸರ್ಕಾರವು ಸೂಕ್ತ ಕಾನೂನು ಕ್ರಮವನ್ನು ಜರುಗಿಸಲಿ.
Meanwhile, JD(S) corporator Imran Pasha claimed she was planted by a rival group to disrupt the event, reported PTI.
The woman, he said, was not in the list of speakers and demanded that the police investigate the matter seriously.
BJP IT Cell Head Amit Malviya took a dig at anti-CAA events and said, “This is the under belly of these protests!”
‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogans raised at an ‘anti-CAA’ rally in Bengaluru’s Freedom Park with Asaduddin Owaisi on stage...— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) February 20, 2020
This is the under belly of these protests! pic.twitter.com/nvXAxgFdsn
Karnataka BJP leader CT Ravi said the incident has shown the “true colours” of AIMIM.
“PM Narendra Modi has repeatedly said that no one will be in trouble due to CAA. Home Minister said that CAA is meant to provide citizenship, not to take it away… but people are being mislead. These anti-nationals should not be spared. They should be held accountable. Those who instigate them should be held accountable,” Ravi said.
The ABVP issued a statement and said the occurrence of such instances throws light on the objective of the organisers. “Unless stringent laws are in place to take action against anti-nationals, these incidents will continue,” the statement read.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)
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