Local BJP leader Rajesh Shetty had filed a police complaint alleging that 23 youths celebrated Pakistan's victory in ICC Champions Trophy.

Kerala BJP man accuses youths cheering for Pakistan he wasnt even in the area say cops
news Kasaragod Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 19:17

On Monday, a BJP leader from Kerala accused several young men from Kasargod of celebrating Pakistan's victory in the ICC Champions Trophy and raising pro-Pakistan slogans.

According to the complaint filed by BJP Kumbadaje panchayat committee president Rajesh Shetty, 23 youths allegedly burst crackers in Kumbadaje on Sunday night to celebrate India’s loss.

Read: 23 booked in Kasaragod for celebrating Pakistan’s victory in ICC Champions Trophy

However, police now say that the complaint itself was filed on hearsay. The police had already booked the youths under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 286 (negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance) of the Indian Penal Code.

Badiyadukka Sub-Inspector KR Ambady says that the local residents have denied hearing any such sloganeering on that night. While the youths did burst crackers on that night, there is no evidence to prove that anti-India slogans were raised.

"Moreover, we traced the phone signal of the BJP leader and he was nowhere close to where the alleged incident happened. Prima facie, there is no meat in his argument," the inspector says. 

But Rajesh Shetty he swears that he heard the youth raising pro-Pakistan slogans. 

"That night around 11 pm, I was returning from a wedding function and saw a group of people gathered. As I slowed down my vehicle, I noticed that they were saying Pakistan Zindabad, India Murdabad. I didn't react at the time and I didn't understand why they were doing so. It was only the next morning that I realized there had been a match the previous day. Our party held a protest march and I filed a complaint the same day," Rajesh says.  

The BJP leader proceeded to criticize the police for their "lukewarm response" on a case, that "warranted" sedition case to be filed. 

"The police filed a complaint against them for bursting crackers. But that's not what they did, right? This is clearly seditious activity and if the police does not take action against them by tomorrow, we will go ahead with protests," the BJP leader said. 

Speaking to TA Amarudheen of Scroll.in, president of the grama panchayat Fathimath Suhara, who belongs to Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) dismissed allegations that anti-India slogans were ever raised. 

“It is a lie they raised anti-India slogans. The BJP is trying to vitiate the atmosphere and polarise the society communally," she was quoted as saying.  The report also states her as saying that one of the accused was not even in Kerala on Sunday and that he is working in the Gulf. 

The police said that they have not made any arrests so far and that the accused are absconding.

 

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