Anti-India slogans: 45 people in Lucknow booked under sedition charges

Hafiz Usmaan, the UP state Information Commissioner was reportedly invited to the event as a chief guest.

Over 45 people in the Rajajipuram locality in Lucknow have been booked under sedition charges after state Information Commissioner Hafiz Usman visited the area for a welcome ceremony. As per reports, it is alleged that anti-India slogans were raised after the commissioner’s visit on Saturday night.

As per the complaint filed by a Rajajipuram resident and RSS worker Abhay Pratap Singh, Ali Shahzeb Khan and Shadaat Usman had organised a welcome ceremony with Information Commissioner Hafiz Usman as the chief guest. About 45 people were present at the venue. Later, anti-India slogans of ‘Bharat Murdabad’ and ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ were allegedly raised by the people present. When other residents of the area objected to the slogans, the organisers allegedly threatened manhandled the residents and stated they will make Hindus leave from India.

The Information Commissioner has stated to the Indian Express that he was invited for a cup of tea to the house of Rajajipuram residents Ali Shahzeb Khan and Shadaat Usmaan. He has reportedly added that it was only a courtesy visit and there was no formal function or a stage for any programme. However, some other media reports state that a function was organised. He also furthered that he reached at the venue at around 7.30 and during the time he was there, no anti-India slogans were raised.

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Several local residents, including local RSS and BJP workers, had reportedly objected to the anti-India slogans being raised. Fearing a law and order situation, several teams of police personnel were deployed at the area. The two main accused are reportedly absconding.

Sanjay Kumar Pandey, the station officer of Talkatora police station has stated that an FIR has been registered under sections 147 (rioting), 124 A (sedition), 153 B, 504 and 506 against the two main accused and about 45 other people. The police have added that the slogans were raised after the information commissioner left the venue. The police are reportedly examining the CCTV footages of the area and interrogating witnesses.

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