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Sedition charge dropped against 15 arrested in MP for celebrating Pakistan win

Police said that during investigation, they found that the arrested people should be booked on charges of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc, instead of sedition.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2017 14:47 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
India-Pakistan,ICC Champions Trophy,Madhya Pradesh
The 15 youths were arrested on charges of sedition, but the charges were dropped by Madhya Pradesh Police on Thursday.(HT Photo)

Madhya Pradesh Police on Thursday dropped sedition charges against 15 people arrested in Burhanpur district for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s victory in the ICC Champions Trophy final, raising slogans in Pakistan’s favour and bursting crackers.

Following a complaint and an FIR, police found during investigation that these people should be booked under section 153A of the Indian Penal Code and not under 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) and 124A (sedition), Burhanpur superintendent of police RRS Parihar told HT over phone.

“So we have dropped these charges and booked them for disrupting communal harmony in the area,” he said from Burhanur, around 350 km from state capital Bhopal.

Section 153A is imposed for “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”.

Sources said the action followed outcry from several sections of people on how such serious charges could be slapped for cheering for another team during a cricket match.

They said Shahpur area, where the incident allegedly took place, also happens to be the home turf of state BJP president Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan.

As Muslims are in substantial numbers in the area, the BJP didn’t want to annoy them or get in their bad books, the sources added.

On Tuesday, the families of the arrested people said the serious charge of sedition will ruin their lives, and also alleged that it was conspiracy to target them as they were from the minority community.

First Published: Jun 22, 2017 13:16 IST