A college student in Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru charged with sedition for shouting pro-Pakistan slogans at an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest was denied bail on Friday, and sent to judicial custody for 14 days, ANI reported. The incident occurred the night before. Amulya Lone has also been charged with provoking enmity between groups, and intentionally insulting people to provoke breach of peace, said Deputy Commissioner of Police B Ramesh.
After her preliminary remarks at the protest, Leona suddenly shouted “Pakistan zindabad”. But she was cut off before she could continue with her speech, and police personnel and organisers took her away from the stage. A Facebook post by her on February 16 that came to attention after the incident seems to show that the teenager wanted to make the point that humanity should be placed above the territorial idea of a nation state, and not single out only Pakistan for praise.
“Hindustan zindabad, Pakistan zindabad, Bangladesh zindabad, Sri Lanka zindabad, Nepal zindabad, China zindabad, Afghanistan zindabad, Bhutan zindabad,” Leona had written, according to a translation of the original Kannada message. “Whichever country it may be, zindabad to all countries.”
She pointed out that children were taught that country means territory. “But, we, the children, want to tell you – a country is its people,” Leona added. “Every person is entitled to basic amenities. All the people should have citizenship rights. The governments of all countries should look after its people in a good manner. Zindabad to everyone who works in the service of people.”
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who was the chief guest at the event, immediately distanced himself and his party from the slogan. The Hyderabad MP and the organisers rushed to her and tried to take away her microphone. “Neither me nor my party has any link with her,” PTI quoted Owaisi as saying. “We denounce her. The organisers should not have invited her here. If I knew 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.”
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said Leona should not be given bail. “Her father has also said he won’t protect her,” he added. “It is proved now that she had contacts with Naxals. Proper punishment should be given.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit tweeted that the truth was that the protests against the citizenship law were “a joint venture between Pakistan and anti-national forces led by INC India”. It added: “Those who support Pakistan should go there forever.”
Meanwhile, a mob vandalised Leona’s home in Chikmagalur district late on Thursday night, and forced her father to shout “Bharat Mata ki Jai loudly, with affection and without fear”. The woman’s father Vojald Leona appeared visibly shaken, and said he had advised his daughter not to talk like that on several occasions, News18 reported. “Let my daughter rot in a jail,” he added. “Let the police break her legs. I have no objection. She has caused so much misery to my family.”