Kerala court denies bail to youth who didn’t stand up during national anthem

Apart from Salman, five others, including two women, are facing sedition charges in the case.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:September 6, 2014 1:59 am

A district sessions court here Friday rejected the bail application of a Muslim youth, who was arrested because he did not stand up during the national anthem in a movie theatre.

M Salman, 25, was charged under section 124 A of the IPC (sedition) for allegedly “sitting and hooting” when the national anthem was being played at a movie theatre. He also faces charges under section 66 A of the IT Act for allegedly posting a derogatory comment about the national flag on Facebook. He has been in jail for more than two weeks.

Rejecting his bail application, the court said Salman’s behaviour was anti-national and his offence more serious than murder, his lawyer claimed. Meanwhile, rights activists have criticised the slapping of sedition charges on Salman.

Apart from Salman, five others, including two women, are facing sedition charges in the case. One of them got anticipatory bail, while the others have reportedly gone into hiding.

The group had gone to a government-owned theatre in Thiruvananthapuram to watch a movie on August 18. It is a practice in state-owned theatres to play the national anthem before every show, and the audience is asked to stand up.

Salman and his friends — some students and others professionals — did not stand up, which led to protests from a section of the audience.

Harihara Sharma, who got anticipatory bail, said, “A few persons questioned our reluctance to stand up. They asked us to go to Pakistan if we can’t stand up for the national anthem. They also got into an altercation with us after the national anthem was over. Provoked by such comments, we raised a hue and cry.”

Sharma said that they have watched movies at the same theatre in the past as well. “Even then, we would not stand up when the national anthem was played,” he said.

Following the incident, two people from the audience, who knew the people in the group, complained to the police.

Meanwhile, Salman also came under the scanner for allegedly making derogatory comments about the national flag and parodying a patriotic song on Facebook.

On August 20, police arrested Salman from his house late in the night and went after the five others. “All of us were staying away from home since we were afraid the police would think we have links to anti-national outfits. Our families are in shock,” said Sharma.
Investigating officer Y Kamarudheen said police are looking for the rest of the four accused. “We are also looking into whether Salman has any links with anti-national forces,” said the officer.

Advocate M Harilal, who appeared for Salman in court, said the prosecution could not furnish any documents or police intelligence report which could justify Salman being denied bail.

Chairman of the justice for Salman forum B R P Bhaskar said that the charges against Salman were fabricated. “The Centre has already directed that it is not necessary to play the national anthem in public places like theatres. Hence, even if the anthem is played, one need not stand up,” Bhaskar said.

“A criminal charge for such conduct, even if some might regard it as offensive, is completely unwarranted,” said Shailesh Rai, programmes director at Amnesty International India. “Nobody should have to go to prison merely because they are accused of causing offence. The case against Salman should be dropped and he must be released. Indian laws on sedition and online free speech do not meet international human rights standards on freedom of expression. These laws must be repealed,” he said.

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  1. N
    Nishant B.
    Mar 8, 2016 at 5:56 am
    Islam is threat to nation !!!
    Reply
    1. R
      Ram Rahim
      Sep 6, 2014 at 12:14 am
      Please send them to Gaza. Isrealis are looking for some live targets.
      Reply
      1. I
        Indus
        Sep 6, 2014 at 2:54 am
        Standing up in reverence to national anthem is a patriotic duty and in most nations they do it. These Bloody self styled "Scholars" and "Human right activists are mostly comprised of anti national agents. None of these human rights point a finger when innocent people are killed in evey Muslim country only active in India with the blessings of the so called Secular organisations and parties..Almost all of these agencies get money from dubious sources
        Reply
        1. A
          AP
          Sep 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm
          Well... if you feel so restrained go to stan and follow sharia. It is not 'forced' there.Besides, if there is no respect for the country then you do not have right to stay in this country. Standing during anthem (movie theater ?) is not a huge task.
          Reply
          1. S
            Syed Raza
            Sep 8, 2014 at 1:20 am
            Agar koi beta apni Maa se respect aur muhabbat karta hai toh ose Ahsaan nahi kahte............
            Reply
            1. S
              Syed Raza
              Sep 6, 2014 at 11:12 am
              Mr. Sairam, I go to Mosque and Madarsa and respect my National flag and anthem as well. You have to approach the Psychiatrist.
              Reply
              1. S
                Sairam Kannaian
                Sep 6, 2014 at 7:47 am
                Terrorist in making. Not only that these anti national have to be monitored, their parents have to be looked in to for breeding a terrorist. Most of these characteristics doesn't happen overnight and it is systemic starting from home and encouraged in places of worship like MOSQUE AND MADARRA. As china encouraged recently it is wise to deliberately mix these typo's in their childhood in schools where they are minority so that they mix with other cultures and are monitored progressively by school authorities.
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sairam Kannaian
                  Sep 7, 2014 at 1:08 am
                  so you mean you qualify to see 72 virgin. sicko, the w world knows who is sick. Look around and see who is killing their own in the name of god.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Sairam Kannaian
                    Sep 7, 2014 at 1:05 am
                    take this guy and throw him across LoC and let us see how long he will survive. Indian muslims are treated as second cl citizens in karachi and its leader lives in exile in UK. They have no where else to go and it is time we take tough line and treat them like they are treated in their own religious mecca. That is what they deserve because they don't understand democracy and secularism. They are barbarians and that is what their god taught them and that is what they practice as well.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Ankit Acharya
                      Sep 6, 2014 at 6:14 pm
                      i liked this person ~ Harihara Sharma....Bc ...how easily it is claimed by him, that before also, they went to the same theatre and disrespected the National Flag and National Anthem by denying due respect....I think such Animals...who have no patriotism for their Country...should be denied Indian Citizenship, Pport, Adhaar, Driving License, etc...etc...all other types of Govt given Ideny Proofs and should me thrown out of the Country...then they can fool around as much as they like....But till the time, you are in Our Country...u will have to pay all due Respects. Warna laaton k bhooton ko....laaton se samjhana aata hai hume!
                      Reply
                      1. B
                        Bhagwad Jal
                        Oct 8, 2014 at 6:32 pm
                        Please show me the LAW which says this. You think if the government creates a website and says something, that is enough to make it a law? Standing up for the national anthem is NOT legally required.
                        Reply
                        1. B
                          Bhagwad Jal
                          Oct 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm
                          Respect cannot be forced. It has to be earned.
                          Reply
                          1. D
                            dattu
                            Oct 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm
                            ! !
                            Reply
                            1. D
                              dhananjay
                              Sep 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm
                              so you come in rescue thank god you didn't said he was following his religion
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Srinivas
                                Sep 6, 2014 at 12:16 pm
                                Looks like Mr Shailesh Rai, programmes director at Amnesty International India, is a nut case. Clearly Mr. Salman broke the law hence he is being punished and sent to jail. Mr Rai says law should be repealed. Well if the law is repealed, then there is no crime and hence Mr. Salman will not be in Jail.These Amnesty fellows are anti-national and they should be jailed first.
                                Reply
                                1. I
                                  impressed by
                                  Sep 6, 2014 at 1:36 am
                                  encouraged to see that after electing rapists as MPs, now the national anthem is something that can mocked in public. No need for it to be pla in public. "It is a private matter" after all.Such values espoused by our today's youth, very encouraging to see.Even the fools who follow IS have more commitment to their "country" than these s.They should be thrown out of the country, not jailed.IF there is any country willing to take them (amnesty loving countries are welcome to apply),pease send them to those countries.
                                  Reply
                                  1. H
                                    humour
                                    Sep 6, 2014 at 7:33 pm
                                    such insight!Did Swamiji also envisage the sanitation problem plaguing the Cow Belt 100 years ago?
                                    Reply
                                    1. V
                                      Vinu Koratty
                                      Sep 6, 2014 at 3:37 pm
                                      Hope they all rot in prison for a very long time.
                                      Reply
                                      1. J
                                        jihad hater
                                        Sep 6, 2014 at 12:24 pm
                                        Ahesan nahi karte u arab terrrorist religion slave, U people have become disgrace to human race. Terrorist god terorist religion
                                        Reply
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                                          Proton
                                          Sep 5, 2014 at 11:48 pm
                                          Now, that is an strong signal every Indian needs and needs to understand. The Hon. Judge however, needs to be cautious in future. Your opinion may ¨hurt¨ many in rulers in Government and society ! Good things have never been welcome in world, particularly India. There are illiterate fanatics all around.
                                          Reply
                                          1. B
                                            Bala
                                            Sep 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm
                                            I blame the parents who failed to cultivate respect to national flag and ntaion.
                                            Reply
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