A 19-year-old girl’s chanting ‘Pakistan zindabad’ at an anti-CAA protest in Bengaluru, a sedition case was filed against her. PHOTO CREDIT : NDTV

BENGALURU ON 20-02-2020 : A sedition case has been filed against a woman in Bengaluru after she shouted “Pakistan Zindabad (long live Pakistan)” at a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA. Amulya Leona had tried to say more, but was stopped and dragged away from the stage by police before she could.

In a Facebook post last week, Amulya, 19, 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!”

In Kannada, she wrote that just saying zindabad to another country would not mean she was there. “I am an Indian citizen according to law. It is my duty to respect my country and work for the people here. I will do it,” she posted.

In the video from a “Save the Constitution” protest organised in Bengaluru last evening on 20th FEB 2020 , where Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi was present, Amulya is seen shouting “Pakistan Zindabad “. Asaduddin Owaisi, the chief of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), and two other men, rush to stop her; they try to take away the microphone from her.

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Kya bol rahein hain aap (What are you saying)?” the AIMIM chief says as Amulya tries to continue on the mic.

She manages to pull herself free and shouts “Hindustan Zindabad“. 

Just before she is dragged away, she says: “The difference between Hindustan Zindabad (Long Live India) and Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Pakistan) is…”

Mr Owaisi later said: “We, in no way, support our enemy nation Pakistan.””

Amulya, arrested soon after the event, has been charged with sedition. “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 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.(sic)”

Mr Owaisi said 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.

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 last night after the protest.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa this morning said Amulya has links with Maoists. “Her own father has said – ‘break her arms and legs. she should not get bail. I will not protect her’,” the BJP leader said. 

“Secondly, and very importantly, the groups behind these people, the ones who are growing people like Amulya…. action has to be taken against them and they should be investigated properly. It will then be known who is backing her. There is proof that she has connections with Naxals. She should be punished and action taken against those organisations,” he told reporters. 

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Another woman was detained today in Bengaluru after she carried a placard saying ‘Free Kashmir’. Earlier, a sedition case was filed against a school teacher and a student’s mother over a play critical of the citizenship law staged at a school in Bidar last month.

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 neighboring countries

(With inputs from PTI, ANI & NDTV)