CM, Dy CM vow action against pro-Pakistan slogans raised during PFI protest in Pune

Published on Sep 24, 2022 11:09 PM IST

Leaders across political lines came out strongly against a video that purportedly showed objectionable sloganeering during a protest march held by supporters of the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Pune on Friday

In a massive crackdown on the PFI, multi-agency teams spearheaded by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had, on Thursday, arrested 106 leaders and activists of the radical Islamic outfit. (HT FILE PHOTO)
In a massive crackdown on the PFI, multi-agency teams spearheaded by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had, on Thursday, arrested 106 leaders and activists of the radical Islamic outfit. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Leaders across political lines came out strongly against a video that purportedly showed objectionable sloganeering during a protest march held by supporters of the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Pune on Friday.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said such slogans will not be tolerated in the state, while Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the home minister, said those who indulged in the sloganeering “will not be spared”.

A video surfaced on social media on Saturday where the protestors shouted slogans supporting neighbouring Pakistan. The video also showed the protestors raising the slogan as they were being bundled into a police vehicle. Hindustan Times has not been able to independently verify the video.

In a tweet on Saturday, Shinde condemned the pro-Pakistan slogan and said they were raised by “anti-social elements”. “The police machinery will take appropriate action against them. Such slogans will not be tolerated in the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” he said.

“If anyone raises a ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogan in Maharashtra or in India, then that person will not be spared and action will be taken against them. We will find them out wherever they may be and will take action against them,” Fadnavis said.

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole called for a ban of the organisation. “We are in favour of peace in the state and in the country and such activities will not be tolerated. The Centre should ban these organisations under UAPA, but at the same time it needs to check if there are attempts to create rift between Hindus and Muslims for politics.”

The PFI organised a protest outside the district collector office in Pune to denounce the recent nationwide raids by central, federal and state agencies on Thursday and the arrest of over 100 members and persons associated with the social group.

“We have received some videos, we will investigate and verify them completely and take action accordingly,” said Sagar Patil, DCP Zone II, Pune.

The Bundgarden police arrested 41 persons and registered an offence against 65 for organising Friday’s agitation without permission. The charges of unlawful assembly and blocking roads have also been added, an official said.

Pratap Mankar, senior police inspector at Bundgarden police station said, “We did not give permission for the protest; hence we have booked almost 65-70 protesters under sections of unlawful assemble and Bund Garden police is investigating the case further.’’

Bundgarden police have registered an FIR under sections of 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 141 (unlawful assembly), 142 (being member of unlawful assembly),143 (punishment for anybody participating in an unlawful assembly), 145 (joining or continuing in unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting), 149 ( offence be committed by any member of an unlawful assembly), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 135 of Bombay Police Act.

The PFI, formed in 2006, is not a banned organisation. Its members argue that the organisation works for the empowerment of marginalised sections of India.

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Thursday, December 08, 2022
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