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Azad Maidan police files sedition charges against 50 people for anti-national slogans at LGBTQ event

The police have filed charges under IPC Sections 153 B (Imputations assertions prejudicial to National Integrity), 124 A (Sedition) and 505 (statements conducing public mischief).

The Mumbai police have registered a case at Azad Maidan police station against 50 odd people for chanting slogans in support of the radical Islamist, Sharjeel Imam at the ‘Mumbai Pride Solidarity Gathering’ held on Saturday.

The police have filed charges under IPC Sections 153 B (Imputations assertions prejudicial to National Integrity), 124 A (Sedition) and 505 (statements conducing public mischief). A complaint was filed by Kirit Somaiya, a former BJP MP, on 2nd February.

The FIR comes at the backdrop of a  video from the gathering that went viral on social media wherein “Sharjeel tere sapno ko manzil tak pahunchayenge,” was chanted by a group of people. One of the prime accused in the case has been identified as activist Urvashi Chudawala.

the Queer Pride March event also saw participants chanting slogans of ‘Azaadi’ against the CAA, NRC and NPR. One of the placards also demanded independence of Kashmir, along with criticising CAA and NRC.

Urvashi is pursuing her MA degree in media and culture at Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS). The police also scrutinized her social media posts before filing the case. She was called for questioning on two occasions but did not turn up for the preliminary inquiry. It has now been reported that she has gone underground. Reports say that her Facebook page had several posts in support for Sharjeel, but now it has been deactivated.

The police have, however, made it clear that no case has been filed against the organizers of the event but only against those involved in the anti-national sloganeering. Earlier, an Anti-CAA protestor was booked by the Mumbai police for carrying a placard that read “Free Kashmir.”

Read: Big win for nationalists: In a first, organisers of pride parade disassociate themselves from radical Islamist slogans in rally

It is important to mention that the Mumbai police had initially denied permission to organise LGBTQ pride parade. When the controversial video surfaced, the organizers were quick to disassociate themselves from those trying to undermine the integrity of India.

It is notable here that radical Islamist and JNU student Sharjeel Imam has been arrested by the Delhi police after videos of his violence-inciting hate speech calling for the partitioning of Assam and the North East from India went viral.

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