Waris Pathan, the spokesperson of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and former MLA from Mumbai’s Byculla, has been booked by the Kalaburagi police in Karnataka for the controversial speech he made in Kalaburagi.
Waris Pathan was addressing an event held in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Kalaburagi and he had stated, “We are just 15 crore, but we can be heavy on the 100 crore,” referring to the Muslim and Hindu population in the country, respectively.
“We have to go out and seek freedom together. We are those who are asking for freedom. If we don’t get it, we will snatch it! The time has come. They are saying, we are sending our sisters out, we are sending the women. Arre bhai, only the lionesses have come out, and your people are sweating. Imagine if we came out together,” the AIMIM leader was heard saying.
Based on a police complaint filed by a lawyer, Kalaburagi Rural police have now booked Waris under Section 117 (Abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons), Section 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), and Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code.
After his speech sparked a row, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had sought an explanation from the leader and PTI reported that the party is considering issuing an advisory about what party members can say in their speeches.
Waris Pathan had taken to Twitter to issue a clarification, stating that his remark had been quoted out of context. “I hereby wish to reiterate that I can never say anything intentionally or unintentionally that hurts the sentiments of any caste, community or gender. I am a proud Indian and respects the plurality of this country,” Waris had stated, however adding that he was “angry just like many other Indians, who believe in the Constitution of this country, the sheer neglect by the Govt in addressing the issues concerning CAA/NRC and NPA against which people have been protesting across the country in a democratic way.”
The case against Waris Pathan comes two days after a 20-year-old student in Bengaluru was arrested for saying “Pakistan Zindabad” at an anti-CAA held in Bengaluru where Asaduddin Owaisi was also present. The student, Amulya Leona, has been booked for sedition and is currently in judicial custody. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday alleged that the student had “Naxal links” and that the police should conduct a proper investigation into the organisations that are backing her.