During the protest by Sri Rama Sene, Hindu Jagarana Vedike and Hindu Janajagruthi Samiti, the student held a poster that read, “Muslim, Kashmiri, Bahujan, Adivasi, Trans liberation now.”

Protester detained for holding up Kashmir liberation poster at Bengalurus Town Hall
news Controversy Friday, February 21, 2020 - 16:05

A day after a Bengaluru college student Amulya Leona was detained for saying “Pakistan Zindabad” as part of her speech at an anti-CAA anti-NRC protest, another student, Ardra, has been detained by the city police for holding a placard that said “Muslim, Kashmiri, Bahujan, Adivasi, Trans liberation now” during a protest held by Shri Rama Sene in Bengaluru’s Town Hall. 

On Friday, Sri Rama Sene, Hindu Jagarana Vedike and Hindu Janajagruthi Samiti, members of which are accused of killing Gauri Lankesh, held a protest in Town Hall to denounce Amulya’s sloganeering during an AIMIM organised protest meeting on Thursday. During the protest, a student named Ardra held a poster that read, “Muslim, Kashmiri, Bahujan, Adivasi, Trans liberation now”, in both Kannada and English. When some Rama Sene members saw Ardra and tried to heckle the student, the police stepped in and took the student into custody. By then however, Sri Rama Sene members and others said that Ardra had held a “Free Kashmir” poster and shouted “Pakistan Zindabad”. However, DCP Chetan said that the claims have not been verified and more details would be revealed upon Ardra’s interrogation.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Chetan Singh Rathore said, “One person named Ardra Narayanan held a sign which said “Kashmir Mukti, Dalit Mukti and Muslim Mukti” on it. The security personnel detained the student immediately and they are being questioned.”

While the student has not been formally arrested yet, the SJ Park Police have registered a suo motu FIR under sections 153a (Promoting enmity between different groups either spoken or written, or by signs) and 153b (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code. SJ Park Police told TNM that Ardra was being questioned on whether they were acquainted with Amulya. 

News agency ANI quoted Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao saying that the protester arrested at Town Hall had to be rescued by police from the crowd of Hindu Jagaran Vedike protesters. 

On Thursday, Amulya Leona, a student in Bengaluru, started her speech at an event organised at Freedom Park against the Citizenship Amendment Act by saying “Pakistan Zindabad”. Amulya went on to say Hindustan Zindabad. She the started saying, “The difference between Pakistan Zindabad and Hindustan Zindabad…” However, she was dragged from the stage before she could complete the sentence.

Amulya was remanded to 14-days judicial custody on Friday morning. 

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has also reacted to Amulya’s speech, and said that Amulya should not be given bail and also alleged that she has links with Naxal organisations and other organisations which want to disrupt peace. He also called for “proper punishment” for her. He further told reporters that the state government will take action against organisations which are allegedly backing her. 

“Amulya's father himself has said she should be punished and should not get bail and that he will not seek protection,” the CM said. 

Amulya’s father had declared on Thursday night that he won’t defend his daughter’s statement. 

With inputs from Alithea Stephanie Mounika and Soumya Chatterjee

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