Two residents of Lucknow’s Rajajipuram locality were booked for sedition for allegedly raising “anti-India slogans” after State Information Commissioner Hafiz Usman visited their home for a function on Saturday night. Another 40-45 unidentified people were also booked under the same charge.
When contacted, Usman said no slogan shouting happened when he was present, adding that he had been invited only for a cup of tea and that he left soon after.
“It was just an invitation for a cup of tea, and as a courtesy I went there. There was no stage, not any formal programme. I reached there around 7.30 pm. As far I know, nothing of this sort happened,” said Usman.
According to a complaint filed at Talkatora police station, Ali Shahzeb Khan, Shadaat Usman and some unidentified people raised slogans like ‘Bharat murdabad’ and ‘Pakistan zindabad’ following the function, and threatened those who objected.
Hundreds of angry residents then protested outside the house of the accused. Police and PAC teams were soon deployed in the area. The accused are absconding.
“Around 8 pm Saturday, there was a welcome ceremony organised by Ali Shahzeb Khan and Shadaat Usman. State Information Commissioner Hafiz Usman was the chief guest and 40-45 others were present there. Later, anti-India slogans were raised. When locals objected, they threatened us. They threatened to make Hindus leave India,” stated the complaint filed by Abhay Pratap Singh, a resident of Rajajipuram.
Sanjay Kumar Pandey, station officer of Talkatora police station, said the FIR was registered under sections 147 (rioting), 124 A (sedition), 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. He said the incident took place after Usman left. Bazarkhala Circle Officer Anil Kumar Yadav said the police were investigating the matter.