‘Azadi’ slogans at protests amount to treason: Yogi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Azadi’ slogans at protests amount to treason: Yogi

Jan 22, 2020 11:33 PM IST


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Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday warned anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA protesters against raising ‘Azadi’ slogans, saying that they were raised in Kashmir and amount to treason that attracts strict punishment.

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Speaking at a Kanpur rally, the CM said, “In democracy, staging a peaceful protest is everyone’s right. One can give memorandums and protest peacefully. But I want to reiterate that if anyone resorts to violence, we would recover damages from them. And also, I would like to state that raising ‘azadi’ slogans that were raised in Kashmir, would come under treason and attract strict punishment. This will not be tolerated.”

The CAA was passed last month to fast-track the citizenship process for non-Muslims, who have entered India from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh before 2015, and triggered protests across the country. Opponents of the CAA insist it is discriminatory and unconstitutional as it leaves out Muslims and links faith to citizenship in a secular country. They say it could result in the expulsion or detentions of the Muslims unable to provide the documentation if the law is seen in the context of a proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC). A process to identify undocumented immigrants in Assam led to the exclusion of around 2 million people from the NRC last year.

Muslim women have been staging sit-in protests in Lucknow’s Clock Tower and Gomti Nagar against the CAA and the NRC on the lines of similar protests in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.

Adityanath said the protesters have now started bringing their women and children to stage sit-ins fearing police action. “Now, they do not even have enough courage left in them to come out and agitate openly for they know if they resort to violence their properties would be seized. That is why they have now devised a new method of getting their women and children to stage sit-ins.”

He said ask them why they are staging sit-ins, these women say it is because their “men admit that they have become so inefficient that they want us to go out and stage dharnas”.

He added it is shameful they are “committing the sin of getting their women and children to sit out on roads”. Adityanath attacked the opponents of the new law.

“For these people, the country is not important. Hindus are not important, nor are Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Sikhs. Now for the Congress, even Christians too are not important anymore. They are saying we would not relent unless we let ISI [Pakistan’s Inter-services Intelligence] agents enter the country. The Congress, Samajwadi Party and rest of the opposition is speaking the same language,” Adityanath said. “How shameful is it for Congress, the Left and others to engage in such protests at the cost of the nation?”

Congress leader Zishan Haidar said when the chief minister makes such derogatory statements about women, it then becomes clear why Uttar Pradesh tops the charts of crimes against women. “Staging peaceful protest is the right of every individual in a democracy. But this chief minister is threatening peaceful protesters. Imagine, he even said that they would be slapped with treason charges.”

Samajwadi Party leader IP Singh said he is not surprised. “By now, I guess we all know the kind of language the chief minister uses. But what worries me more is this government is now threatening democracy.”

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