May 26, 2024

Moon Desk: The police in south-western Indian state of Karnataka arrested a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker for raising ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogan over a year ago, a day after the arrest of three Congress workers on similar charges, an Indian media report said on Tuesday.

According to an India Express report, the Mandya district police arrested the BJP worker, identified as Ravi, 40, in a case registered against him of raising a pro-Pakistan slogan during a December 2022 protest, when the BJP was in government in the state.

The arrest came a day after three Congress workers were arrested for raising pro-Pakistan slogans in the state legislature building on February 27, after party’s candidate Syed Naseer Hussain was elected to the Rajya Sabha.

The Indian Express report said that the BJP protest was called against the remarks of the then Pakistani foreign minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Bilawal, while at the United Nations had called Modi the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’ – a reference to 2002 killing of Muslims.

A video of the protest showed Ravi saying “Pakistan Zindabad” even as another person behind him attempted to close his mouth, it added. However, the local chapter of the BJP criticised the arrest of Ravi as “political vendetta”.

The president of BJP’s Mandya district unit was quoted by the Indian Express as saying that Ravi was a farmer and he did not know any language other than his native Kannada and did not know the meaning of the words.

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said on Tuesday that pro-Pakistan slogans were raised twice. “We identified the suspects and arrested them. The law will take its course,” he said, according to the Indian Express report.

The police said that the three Congress workers, identified as Iltaz, from Delhi, Mohammad Nashipuri, a native of Haveri district of Karnataka and Munnawar, a resident of the state capital of Bengaluru on Monday. They remain in police custody, they added.

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