A 43-year-old man was arrested on Monday and charged with sedition after he allegedly chanted pro-Pakistan slogans before the mini Vidhan Soudha, a complex housing government offices, at Kundapur in Karnataka’s Udupi district, reported PTI.
The man, identified as Raghavendra Ganiga, is believed to be mentally unstable. Ganiga stood before the government offices around 10 am and shouted “Pakistan Zindabad” multiple times, the police said. He then moved to a corridor and continued to shout the slogan.
The 43-year-old man is a resident of Kodi village in Kundapur taluk, according to Asian Age.
Locals alerted the police who went to the spot to arrest him. The police said they had registered a first information report against Ganiga on the basis of a complaint by the Kundapur tehsildar. An unidentified official claimed the man did not make any coherent statements during questioning.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Hariram Shankar said the parents of the man have made a ‘plea of insanity’ on his behalf, reported The New Indian Express. However, doctors were being consulted to ascertain his condition. “His family claimed that they had taken him to the taluk government hospital on Monday morning,” Shankar said. “They said he escaped from there, came to mini Vidhan Soudha and started shouting slogans. A case of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (dealing with sedition) has been registered against Raghavendra,’’ he said.
This is the latest in a series of sedition cases in Karnataka. On February 20, Bengaluru Police slapped sedition charges against a woman, Amulya Leona, for chanting the pro-Pakistan slogan at an event held to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens.
On February 14, the Karnataka Police arrested three Kashmiri engineering students after the college filed a complaint about a video in which they allegedly said “Pakistan zindabad”. They were rearrested after being released due to insufficient evidence a day after they were held.
The Karnataka Police has also been criticised for questioning school students after they staged a play against Citizenship Amendment Act in Bidar district. A teacher and parent were arrested on January 30 on the grounds that the play staged on January 21 was seditious and inflammatory. They were granted bail on February 14.