Protester chanting 'Pakistan Zindabad' at rally against India's citizenship act booked for sedition

Updated February 21, 2020

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A woman who chanted 'Pakistan Zindabad' at a gathering against India's Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 was taken into police custody and charged with sedition, The Wire reported on Friday. — Screengrab courtesy ANI video
A woman who chanted 'Pakistan Zindabad' at a gathering against India's Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 was taken into police custody and charged with sedition, The Wire reported on Friday. — Screengrab courtesy ANI video

A woman who chanted "Pakistan Zindabad" at a gathering against India's Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 in Bengaluru was taken into police custody and has been booked for sedition, The Wire reported on Friday.

Amulya Leona chanted "Pakistan Zindabad" while on stage during the event after which she chanted "Hindustan Zindabad" before the microphone was taken from her.

The Indian publication added that Leona was taken into custody and police said they had initiated a sedition case against her.

Leona was sent on three-day judicial custody,The Wire reported citing ANI news agency. She was booked under Section 124(a) (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) and 153B (imputation, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code.

In a video clip of the protest, shared by ANI on Twitter, Leona can be heard chanting "Pakistan Zindabad" multiple times. Various individuals, including All India Majlis-i-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi, approach her and try to take the microphone from her hands. She then says "one second" and chants "Hindustan Zindabad" as the various individuals continue to try and take the microphone from her.

Even once the microphone was out of her hands, Leona continued to speak. She is eventually seen surrounded by a large crowd, including police, and is ushered off the stage.

According to The Wire, the video of Leona at the rally, which she was invited to address, has gone viral.

Owaisi later described Leona as a "so-called liberal" and asked all liberals to "refrain from any events involving Muslims", the publication added.

"Neither I nor my party has any link with her. We denounce her. The organisers should not have invited her here. If I had known this, I would not have come here. We are for India and we no way support our enemy nation Pakistan. Our entire drive is to save India," he was quoted as saying.

"If they (liberals) were so concerned about the Muslims and CAA, they should have their own Shaheen Bagh kind of protests," he added.

Additionally, The Hindu reported that individuals, allegedly Bharat Janatya Party (BJP) supporters, had thrown stones at Leona's father's house following her chant of "Pakistan Zindabad".

"They are all BJP supporters. They were in a group. I have complained to the police with the names of a few who led the group," her father Wazi was quoted as saying.