The Karnataka Minister of Agriculture BC Patil on Monday pushed for a law that allows authorities to “shoot at sight” those who speak ill of India or raise pro-Pakistan slogans, Hindustan Times reported. The minister’s comment was in response to a query about a college student in Bengaluru who was charged with sedition on Thursday for shouting “Pakistan Zindabad” at an event held to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens.
“In my opinion, there is a need for a new law – shoot at sight law – that needs to be brought in for those who bad-mouth India or raise pro-Pakistan slogans,” he said, according to ANI.
Referring to anti-CAA protesters, the minister added that he would appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement a tough law in order to deal with such “traitors”. “These elements must be killed on the spot. I am appealing to prime minister through the media now to bring in such a law. I will also write to him.”
Drawing parallels with China, Patil questioned the morality of protesters and those who raise pro-Pakistani slogans. “They are enjoying the 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.”
In the past, several other leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party have labelled anti-CAA protesters as traitors. In the run-up to the Delhi Assembly elections, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur was seen leading a crowd with the slogan “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko,” a chant inciting listeners to shoot “traitors to the country”, with an expletive thrown in. He was later banned by the Election Commission from campaigning for making the inciting statement.
This slogan has been heard at numerous pro-Citizenship Act and Bharatiya Janata Party rallies in the country, with even young children being made to say it. BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who was also a candidate in the Delhi elections, was caught on camera shouting the slogan.
Meanwhile, college student Amulya Leona, who was charged with sedition for shouting pro-Pakistan slogans, was denied bail on Friday and sent to judicial custody for 14 days. She was also charged with provoking enmity between groups and intentionally insulting people to provoke breach of peace. The woman shouted the slogan in the presence of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi. The Hyderabad MP, however, denounced her action and asserted that “we are for India”.
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.”