Madhya Pradesh police drops sedition charges against 15 men held for cheering Pakistan

The police said "It’s difficult to prove the sedition charge. Moreover, none of them has a criminal background. After initial investigation we found Section 153-A is more appropriate instead of Section 124-A.’’

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Burhanpur | Updated: June 22, 2017 9:58 am
Pakistan, Pro-Pakistan slogans, Sedition, Champions League final Pakistani cricket fans cheer after Pakistan defeated India in the Champions Trophy finals, in Lahore, Pakistan June 18, 2017. (Source: Reuters)

Three days after 15 Muslim men were charged with sedition for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans and bursting crackers after Pakistan’s victory over India in the Champions Trophy cricket final, the Madhya Pradesh Police have withdrawn the sedition charge.

The 15 men, most of them youngsters, have now been charged with Section 153 A of the IPC for disturbing communal harmony. “It’s difficult to prove the sedition charge. Moreover, none of them has a criminal background. After initial investigation we found Section 153-A is more appropriate instead of Section 124-A,’’ Burhanpur SP RR Parihar told The Indian Express.

The accused, all of whom belong to Mohad village, about 25 km from Bhurnapur, have been sent to Khandwa jail. The police said the conspiracy charge (120 B of IPC) will remain.

The move follows a representation made by the families of the accused to the President of India, national and state human rights commissions and national and state minority commissions. They said the village has not witnessed any communal incident in the past. Gulzar Kasam Tadvi, the father of one of the accused, said the youngsters were innocent and that some miscreants may have burst crackers.

Earlier, when the families of the arrested men had visited the Burhanpur court premises, on Tuesday, they were cornered by some right-wing activists, advocates and common people who called them names and shouted slogans.  “They raised slogans like ‘Hindustan Zindabad’. We also said ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ because we love the country,’’ said 62-year-old Gulzar Kasam, whose 23-year-old son Aitabar is among those arrested, told The Indian Express earlier.

A majority of those arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police on the sedition charge are daily wagers, while some own one or two acres of land.

On Monday, the police had charged the 15 arrested men with sedition for raising pro-Pakistani slogans and bursting crackers after India’s defeat in the ICC Champions Trophy final.

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  1. A
    Jun 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm
    mama a scaredy cat. take some action against these traitors ,dont back off.
    1. A
      Jun 22, 2017 at 4:39 pm
      Most of Indian Muslims are nationalists apart from a miniscule number who joined isis and other terrorism. But our BJP govts plans is to make more anti nationals out of the Muslim community by terrorizing them using gau rakshaks and framing cattle laws , and closing down meat shops there by affecting the their livelihood. Can our country afford to have 200 million anti nationals within our country ?better to take them along without descrimination to avoid a Syria like situation in the country! But unfortunately north Indian Sanghis are illiterate and head filled with gober so that they don't have any idea about national security or integrity!
      1. J
        Jai hind
        Jun 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm
        True 👆👍
      2. S
        Jun 22, 2017 at 4:08 pm
        Yes sedition charges are bit excess, however, one has to realises that the action of administration is at the spur of angry moment because it's difficult to digest the backstabbing by this Islamic iden y people who is trying to pledge themselves to an enemy country, the country which is bend in inflicting heavy damage in the integrity of Indian states, they may be poor, illiterate but well aware of Islamic iden y and their fathers are living in Porkistan, one can smell the heart beating of those advocating and trying to justify by their actions that their iden y is preventing to accept the truth. Shame on you people, there is a old saying in Tamil, these people nature are to their own mothers for benefits of their aunt, what a shame
        1. I
          Jun 22, 2017 at 3:45 pm
          If bursting firecracker is crime, then on diwali millions shud be arrested. How do you know they celebrated pakistan victory? Have you taken their polygraph lie detector test? Witness can say thousand different things, But police cant slap charges on emotion value . If they really celebrated india's loss, I have no sympathy for them or their family, they shud be hanged. The truth must be found out first. Please take a test
          1. G
            Jun 22, 2017 at 3:36 pm
            I agree with Ayesha, sedition charge cant be proven without lie detector test. Even parents of a serial killer will say their child is innocent. I have many muslim friends, never seen anyone celebrating india's loss, yes few muslims from kerala have joined ISIS, some pakistani spies are caught, but those are exceptions. Truth serum and lie detector test will dig out their actual feelings, which is important to know understand this extra-ordinary problem
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