The Karnataka Police on Tuesday arrested a Bharatiya Janata Party worker in Mandya district for allegedly shouting a pro-Pakistan slogan during a protest organised by the party in 2022, the Hindustan Times reported.

This came amid the arrest of three men by the Bengaluru Police on Monday for allegedly shouting pro-Pakistan slogans inside the state Assembly on February 27 after Congress MP Syed Nasir Hussain was elected to the Rajya Sabha.

On Tuesday, Mandya Superintendent of Police N Yetish said that BJP worker Danayakapura Ravi was arrested after a first information report was registered by Congress worker Kannambadi Kumar in connection with the protest organised in December 2022.

The police officer said that the BJP had organised a protest at Mandya’s Sanjay Circle on December 22, 2022, after former Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP, in response, had called Bhutto Zardari’s comments “highly derogatory and defamatory”.

During the protest, BJP workers had shouted slogans against Pakistan and its government. In a purported video of the protest, Ravi is allegedly seen shouting “Pakistan Zindabad” even as another person behind him attempted to stop from saying it, The Indian Express reported.

Ravi will be produced before a local court, the Hindustan Times quoted Yetish as saying on Tuesday. He added that efforts were on to arrest other persons named in the first information report.

The police officer said that the FIR had been registered under Indian Penal Code Sections 153B (statements threatening national integrity) and 505 (statements causing public mischief).

In response to Ravi’s arrest, BJP Mandya district chief Indresh NS said that it 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,” he said.

“Ravi is a farmer and knows only Kannada,” he added. “While raising slogans, he got confused and raised ‘Zindabad for Pakistan’. Why would he raise pro-Pakistan slogans when we were protesting against Pakistan?”

Indresh said that BJP workers were being attacked for questioning the Congress over the pro-Pakistan slogans that were shouted in the Assembly on February 27.

Pro-Pakistan slogans in the Assembly

The arrest of the three men allegedly shouting pro-Pakistan slogans inside the state Assembly on February 27 was based on a Forensic Science Laboratory report, circumstantial evidence and statements of the witnesses gathered at the event, Shekhar HT, the deputy commissioner of police for the central division, said.

The accused persons have been identified as Mohammad Nashipudi from Haveri district, Munawwar Ahmed from Bengaluru and Mohammad Iltaz from Delhi, reported the Deccan Herald.

The three men had been detained earlier for questioning, during which they denied raising any pro-Pakistan slogans. However, the police continued their investigation and waited for the forensic report on the video clip.