The student in a statement said that she was trying to bring attention to the Internet shutdown which has been imposed in the valley.

 Sedition charges filed against protester at Mysuru University for Free Kashmir poster
news Controversy Thursday, January 09, 2020 - 19:44

On January 8, as many students and student unions of Mysuru University came together in protest against the assault on JNU students, the local media noticed a poster that said “Free Kashmir”. Taking notice of this, the police have filed sedition charges against the young woman who held the poster. 

The students had held a protest march, holding lit torches and shouting slogans within the University campus. The protesters went up to the Kuvempu statue situated near the main entrance. They then sat down and began shouting slogans against the violence unleashed in JNU.

Videos showed one person holding a small poster in black with the words “Free Kashmir” written in white, and the videos have been shared widely on social media.

The student, an alumna of the University, has come forward to give a statement about the poster. “I want to clarify regarding the placard ‘Free Kashmir’ that I was holding at the protest organised at the University of Mysore on January 8. I was trying to bring notice to the Internet shutdown which has been imposed in the valley through the placard. From August 5th, 2019, about 156 days since the abrogation of article 370, there has been an Internet blockade which has resulted in the silencing of Kashmir. We haven’t heard from them for 5 months and 2 days," she said.

The statement added that it was a privilege to dissent and raise voices in protest, “I wanted to remember and remind people that coming out to the streets to protest against the unconstitutional CAA, NRC, NPR is a privilege we have. We have been able to amplify our voices against it, while the valley has been in darkness unable to voice out their dissent. This is all I meant by ‘Free Kashmir’. Nothing more, nothing less. None of the student bodies of the University of Mysore is responsible for the placard.”

The police booked one person under Section 124 A (Sedition) and Section 34 (common intent). Inspector of Jayalakshmipuram said, that no arrests have been made in connection with the case. Investigations are ongoing, along with taking eye witness accounts.

Sedition charges if proven constitute a jail term of up to 3 years.

Meanwhile in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena hit out at BJP leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis for targeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the "Free Kashmir" placard displayed by a woman at a protest in Mumbai against the JNU violence.

When Mehek Prabhu, a Marathi woman from Mumbai stood up for the pain of Kashmiris by holding the placard, the opposition termed it as "sedition, the Shiv Sena said, adding that there cannot be a "dirtier example of irresponsibility".

In remarks laced with sarcasm, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said the placard "shocked the opposition leaders and awakened the nationalist sentiment in them."

"They attacked Chief Minister Thackeray and asked how this anti-national activity can happen right under his nose. The allegation was so frivolous that the opposition leaders made a mockery of themselves," it said. Inputs PTI

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