New Delhi: Student activist Amulya Leona, who had raised ‘Pakistan zindabad‘ slogan at an anti-CAA rally was arrested by Bengaluru police on Friday and was booked under sections 124A, 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in a sedition case. Also Read - Woman Who Chanted Pakistan Zindabad Had Naxal Links, Says Karnataka CM; Facebook Post Says Otherwise
Similarly, in 2016, former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and other students of the varsity were charged with sedition for allegedly raising ‘anti-national slogans’ during an event on the university campus on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru. The JNU students were charged with offences under section 124A (sedition) of the IPC. Also Read - 'What She Said is Wrong,' Father Condemns Amulya For 'Pakistan Zindabad' Chant
However, in 1995, the Supreme Court in the Balwant Singh and Another v State Of Punjab case had ruled that casual raising of slogans did not amount to an offence of sedition. The top court had observed that shouting slogans cannot be said to be aimed at exciting or attempt to excite hatred or disaffection towards the government as established by law in India and, hence, Section 124A pertaining to sedition would not be attracted.
The court had made the observations while hearing a case of two public servants Singh and his aide. The duo had raised anti-India slogans like – Khalistan zindabad, Raj karega Khalsa (Only the believer shall rule), and Hinduan nun Punjab chon kadh ke chhadange, hun mauka aya hai raj kayam karan da (We will drive Hindus out of Punjab; now is the chance to establish our rule) on the day of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. The prosecution had also claimed in that case that the duo had also chanted ‘Hindustan Murdabad’.
“Raising of some lonesome slogans a couple of times by two individuals, without anything more, did not constitute any threat to the government of India”, a bench, comprising Justice AS Anand and Justice Faizan Uddin, had stated back then.
Sedition Law introduced by Britishers to suppress the dissent coming from the freedom fighters
Notably, the sedition law was introduced by the then British government to suppress India’s freedom movement during the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1922, Mahatma Gandhi, too was tried and prosecuted under Section 124-A for writing an article in his paper ‘Young India’.
Now 19-year-old charged for raising anti-India slogan
Earlier on Thursday, at the anti-CAA rally organised by the Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Issai Federation at the Freedom Park in Bengaluru, where AIMIM president Asauddin Owaisi was also present, Leona, 19, had raised “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan thrice after the organisers of the rally invited her to address the gathering.
Speaking in Kannada, she was heard telling ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, when stopped and pulled by men around her, she fought to get back and shouted “Hindustan Zindabad”. A number of men, including Owaisi, policemen and oragnisers tried to stop her. She wanted to speak more but was dragged away from the dias.
‘Long Live All Nations’, Amulya’s Facebook Post Read
In a Facebook post last week, she had written, “Whatever country may be – long live for all the countries!” She had also written: “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!”