The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday booked the newly elected chairperson of a civic body in Bareilly district and her husband, along with 500 unidentified people, for sedition after they took part in a procession during which participants allegedly shouted slogans of “Pakistan zindabad”. The police named Shahla Tahir, who is a leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, and her husband Dr Mohammad Tahir in the FIR on the complaint of the local Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

Shahla Tahir heads the Nawabganj municipal board, and Akhilesh Kumar Gangwar is the president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Nawabganj unit.

Nawabganj Station House Officer Ram Naresh Choudhary said the VHP had filed a complaint against the accused on December 24, 2017. The Hindu outfit alleged that during a procession the previous day, Shahla Tahir and her supporters had shouted pro-Pakistan slogans in Nawabganj. The complainant also submitted a CD as evidence, according to The Indian Express.

A forensic test confirmed that the participants of the procession had shouted “Pakistan Zindabad”, said Nawabganj Circle Officer Preetam Pal Singh. The police charged the accused based on this report.

Shahla Tahir won the election to the post of the Nawabganj civic board on a BSP ticket in November 2017, defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Premlata Rathore by 171 votes. She has not been sworn in as the civic body chief yet – Shahla Tahir claims the district administration had made no arrangements for her induction, but authorities claim she had skipped the ceremony on December 12, 2017, because she is facing a case of attempt to murder.