New Delhi: Three days after a young woman, Amulya Leona, was arrested and charged with sedition for saying ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ at a rally in Bengaluru, Karnataka agriculture minister B.C. Patel called for a law to “shoot at sight” those who spoke against India or raised pro-Pakistan slogans.
“In my opinion, there is need for a law that has to be brought in India – shoot at sight law has to brought in India for those who speak ill of India or raise pro-Pakistan slogans. It is very much needed,” Patil was quoted as saying by ANI.
“The Centre must promulgate a law that enables authorities to shoot those who do anything that is seen as anti-national and chant pro-Pakistan slogans,” Patil said, speaking to reporters. “These elements must be killed on the spot.”
The former Congress MLA, who was one of the 15 MLAs that brought down the Kumaraswamy government, also asked the prime minister to enact a stringent law to this end.
“They’re enjoying food, water and air of India. Why should they be here if they raise ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogan? In China, people are scared to talk against their country. I request PM Modi to bring in a tough law to deal with traitors,” Patil said.
The woman, Amulya Leona, had also shouted ‘Hindustan Zindabad’, at the rally where All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi was also present, before the microphone was taken away from her.
Soon after, Leona was taken into custody and the AIMIM chief denounced her remarks. In a Facebook post, Leona had written, “…I don’t become a part of a different nation just because I say Zindabad to that nation. As per law, I am an Indian citizen. It is my duty to respect my nation and work for the people of the country.”
Referring to Amulya’s remarks, Union minister for chemicals and fertiliser D.V. Sadananda Gowda said that stringent action would be taken against those indulging in anti-national activity and that there would be “no mercy” for those taking a pro-Pakistan stance. He went on to claim that many anti-national organisations had been using CAA protests for political gain.
On Saturday, Karnataka home minister Basavaraj Bommai claimed that students and girls were being used to create unrest in society as a “larger part of a conspiracy” hatched across the country.
Bommai also said that educational institutions had been asked to report “anti-national” incidents on their campuses or hostels. “If any such incident takes place, the police should be informed immediately. If the educational institutions keep quiet even after knowing, action will be initiated against them,” Bommai said.
The Sri Ram Sene, a right-wing militant group, has also declared a bounty of Rs 10 lakh for anyone who kills Leona in an “encounter”.
In a video that circulated extensively, a leader from the outfit, Sanjeev Marady from Bellary district, has warned the police against releasing the woman on bail. “We request the government to not allow the student Amulya to be released on bail. She said Pakistan Zindabad… and should not be released. And if she is released, we announce a reward of Rs 10 lakh to whoever kills her in an encounter,” he said.
The police have yet to register an FIR against Marady and the Sri Ram Sene.
Several BJP leaders have referred to anti-CAA protesters as traitors.
While the Congress has said that there is no room for anti-national activity, former minister and senior party leader D.K. Shivakumar suggested he found nothing in Amulya’s background to suggest she is anti-national.
“Let me make it absolutely clear that the Congress party will not support any person or persons who hail another country and bring shame to India,” Shivakumar said. “However, I have seen the girl’s [Amulya’s] previous posts on social media and read her statements on various forums. She has been making statements on an ideological ground. Let us not jump the gun, but investigate exactly what she meant to say.”