Several people have been booked in Kavali town of Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district on a complaint of alleged attempt to disturb public peace and inciting feelings of hatred after they held a meeting to discuss the Centre’s move to scrap special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and the situation in the Valley in its aftermath.
The organisers denied there was any attempt to disturb peace and accused BJP leaders of filing police complaints to “stifle opposing voices”.
The FIR names V S Krishna, coordination committee member of Human Rights Forum, Andhra Pradesh; K Bhaskar, president of Progressive Democratic Students Union; Mohammed Afzal, a religious leader; and others for organising the meeting on September 8.
BJP president of Kavali town Bellamkonda Malyadri lodged the police complaint on Tuesday.
The organisers were booked under IPC Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 505 (intent to incite any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community), 153(A) [promoting or attempts to promote disharmony or feelings of enmity on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste, community, etc) read with 34 (acts by several people in furtherance of common intention).
An official at Kavali Police Station said, “We received a complaint stating that the speakers said things which incite feelings of hatred between communities. We have procured videos of the speeches and will investigate the matter.”
Last week, the police had declined permission to Human Rights Forum to hold a meeting on Article 370 in Adoni and Kurnool, in Kurnool district, stating that it may disturb peace.
V S Krishna of the rights outfit said, “This was our ninth meeting in AP. We just discuss abrogation of (special status to J&K under) Article 370 and its effects on Kashmiri people. We don’t disturb peace or create a law and order situation.”
Accusing the Narendra Modi government of committing a “Constitutional outrage” in J&K, he said, “The communications blockade has further alienated Kashmiris. Any discussion on Kashmir unfortunately never involves Kashmiris…it (Kashmir) is just referred to as if it is a piece of real estate.”
He said, “Every day the Centre says things are normal in Kashmir. So why is there still a lockdown? If it is being done for the good of Kashmiris why is their voice not heard anywhere? Why is the opinion of Kashmiris suppressed by this lockdown? In a democracy all these things need to be discussed. We cannot just go by the narrative of the government that everything is fine when no one is allowed to go there to find out what is happening.”
He also said, “BJP leaders all over are opposed to any discussion on Article 370 and are stifling opposing voice by filing these police complaints.”