NewDelhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditanath on Wednesday issued a stern warning against those raising the ‘Azadi’ slogan during anti-Citizenship law and anti-NRC (National Register of Citizens) protests and stated that such people will be charged with sedition in his state.
“If anyone raises slogans of Azadi in the name of protest, it will amount to sedition and the government will take strict action. It can’t be accepted. People can’t be allowed to conspire against India from Indian soil,” CM Yogi said while addressing a pro-CAA rally in Kanpur, as part of the BJP’s outreach to people regarding the newly implemented law.
Azadi, meaning freedom, a term widely used protests seeking democracy, has now become ubiquitous at the anti-CAA demonstrations across the nation.
Uttar Pradesh was the first state to implement the Centre’s amended Citizenship Act, even as several other states like West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab have been strongly opposing it. The widespread agitation in UP has even led to frequent police action.
Notably, over the weekend, more than 5,000 women began an indefinite sit-in at Lucknow’s iconic clock tower to protest against CAA. The dharna was inspired by the remarkable month-long protest held by women at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.
Urging them to call off the protest, the UP Police chased and caned women, seized blankets and eatables, switched off the street lights and locked the public toilet near the venue, forcing the women to leave the area. However, the police action only inspired more women in other parts of the state to come out to the streets and sit on dharna against the Centre’s move.
The contentious CAA allows grants Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains from neighbouring countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh – who entered India before December 31, 2014, after facing religious persecution. Meanwhile, Muslim migrants don’t figure on this list.