The Andhra Pradesh police have filed a case against civil rights activists for holding a meeting against abrogation of Article 370, on Tuesday. The Kavali police in Nellore district have charged the activists for “intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace.”
On Sunday, activists from Human Rights Forum (HRF) —a civil rights organisation — held a meeting in Shadi Manzil, Nellore, on the abrogation of Article 370, and the human rights violations in Kashmir. However, taking offence to this, a group led by BJP local president Bellamkonda Malyadri approached police and accused the activists of provoking the people and disrupting peace in the region.
According to police, the BJP leader said though Kashmir was integrated into India constitutionally, the activists were spreading false narratives and trying to incite violence.
Based on the complaint, the Kavali police have filed a case against activists — V S Krishna, HRF state coordination committee member, K Bhaskar, a member of Progressive Democratic Students Union, and Mohammed Abzal, a religious leader. The case has been filed under Sections 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief), 153(A) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race) read with Section 34 of IPC (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
Speaking to TNM, Kavali Circle Inspector (CI) M Rosaiah said, “We received a complaint that these activists were trying to provoke the people and create a divide on caste and religious lines. We are investigating as to why they had to hold this meeting secretively.”
The CI added that they are examining the videos of the meeting to find the contents in it and if indeed they were provocative in nature, as alleged by the BJP.
“We are verifying the merits of the case and after going through the contents of the video, we would take action against the accused,” Rosaiah said.
Meanwhile, the activists condemned the police case against them.
Speaking to TNM, V S Krishna said, “The rights of Kashmiris are stifled and their voices are being muzzled by the Centre. Nobody knows what is happening there, and now the BJP doesn’t want anyone to speak about the human rights abuse.”
Reacting to the case against him, he said, “This case is frivolous and malicious. The truth we speak may hurt the BJP. Notwithstanding the cases against us, we will continue to speak for the rights of Kashmiris.”
Gutta Rohith, another member of HRF said, “How can police file a case for holding a meeting? Kashmir has become a banned word in the country which nobody is supposed to utter.”