Bengaluru, Feb 4, 2020: Mangaluru MLA UT Khader on Tuesday demanded an “objective” probe by an IAS officer into the sedition case the police have booked against a school in Bidar for a play students staged on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
“This shows how today in India and in Karnataka, the BJP is looking to suppress the voices of people. Sedition cases have no value anymore,” former Congress minister UT Khader told a news conference.
“When a complaint on sedition is filed, action must be taken after obtaining legal opinion. But today, a written complaint by any BJP worker is enough to brand someone as anti-national. Even schoolchildren aren’t spared,” Khader said.
“An IAS officer should be appointed to objectively probe this. If something is found, then the police can continue the investigation,” Khader said. “But the government should pressurize the police. We’ve seen what happened in Mangaluru,” he said, referring to the police shootout that killed two people during an anti-CAA protest. “I know it’s difficult for officials to resist political pressure, but a line must be drawn. All officials must come together and send the government a message, that they will not be bogged down to pressure that’s against societal interests,” he added.
On January 26, the Shaheen Primary and High School was charged by the Bidar New Town police with sedition on January 26. This was based on a complaint by an Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishat (ABVP) worker who claimed that the play staged by the students on January 21 “insulted” Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On January 30, the police arrested Nazbunnisa, the mother of an 11-year-old student and Fareeda Begum, a head-teacher in the school.
Khader said he lacked faith in the BJP government. “That’s because the BJP tends to give election tickets to those who plant bombs,” Khader said, citing the example of terror-accused Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur. “Even the Aditya Rao case (Mangaluru airport bomb planter)...we don’t know what’s happening. They just want to hush it up,” Khader charged.