A worker belonging to India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party has been arrested for allegedly chanting “Pakistan Zindabad” during a 2022 protest, Indian media reported.

Danayakapura Ravi, 34, was arrested in Karnataka on March 4 in connection with a first information report (FIR) registered by the Mandya West Police following a recent complaint by a Congress worker Kannambadi Kumar on the 2022 protest, according to a report published by the Hindustan Times.

The report said the BJP protest was organised at Mandya’s Sanjay Circle on December 22, 2022, over former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It quoted the police as saying that the case against Ravi was registered after uproar over some Congress workers raising “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans while celebrating the victory of Congress member Syed Naseer Hussain in the Rajya Sabha elections on February 27.

“On Monday, the Bengaluru police said three people were arrested for raising the slogans,” Hindustan Times reported.

“Based on the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report, circumstantial evidence, witness statements and available proof, three persons have been arrested,” it quoted a police statement as saying.

The report added that Ravi would be produced before the local court and efforts were being made to arrest other suspects, adding that the FIR was registered under sections 153B (statements threatening national integrity) and 505 (statements causing public mischief).

Commenting on the arrest, BJP’s Manya district unit president Indresh N S claimed that the arrest was a clear case of political vendetta.

“The incident took place more than one-and-a-half-years ago and the police have registered a case now and arrested him. Ravi is a farmer and knows only Kannada. While raising slogans, he got confused and raised Zindabad for Pakistan. Why would he raise pro-Pakistan slogans when we were protesting against Pakistan?” The Indian Express quoted Indresh as saying.

“The moment the BJP questioned Congress’s commitment over the pro-Pakistan slogans that were raised in the Vidhana Soudha, they attacked the BJP workers for no reason,” the BJP leader added.

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