Shouting ‘azaadi’ slogans during protests would amount to ‘treason’: Yogi

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath speaks during a rally, in Kanpur on Wednesday.(PTI)
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath speaks during a rally, in Kanpur on Wednesday.(PTI)
Published on Jan 22, 2020 09:59 PM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Lucknow

Upping the ante against anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (anti-CAA) protests, chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said shouting ‘azaadi’ slogans, like the ones that used to be raised in Kashmir, would amount to treason and attract strict punishment.

Speaking at a rally in Kanpur, Adityanath 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 ‘azaadi’ slogans that were raised in Kashmir, would come under treason and attract strict punishment. This won’t be tolerated.”

He also said the protesters feared police action now and that was why they had now started bringing their women and children to stage sit-ins.

Muslim women have been staging protests in Lucknow’s Clock Tower as well as Gomti Nagar areas. Women have also been protesting in Prayagraj.

“Now, they don’t 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’s why they have now devised a new method of getting their women and children to stage sit-ins,” he said.

“It’s shameful they are committing the sin of getting their women and children to sit out on the road while they sit at home under their blankets,” he said.

Attacking the political opponents of the new citizenship law, he said, “For these people, the country isn’t important. Hindus aren’t important, nor are Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, Sikhs and, now for the Congress, even Christians too aren’t important anymore. They are saying we won’t relent unless we let ISI agents enter the country. The Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the rest of the opposition are speaking similarly,” Adityanath said.

“How shameful is it for the Congress, the Left and others to engage in such protests at the cost of the nation? Now, they are bringing their women in front who don’t know what the citizenship law is all about,” he said.

“Ask them why they are staging sit-ins and these women say, it’s because our men admit that they have become so inefficient that they want us to go out and stage dharnas,” he said.

Cong, SP denounce CM’s remarks

Reacting to Adityanath’s remarks, UP Congress Committee leader Zishan Haidar said, “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 charge.”

Samajwadi Party leader IP Singh said, “I am not surprised at this statement because by now I guess we all know the kind of language UP chief minister uses. But what worries me more is if this government is now threatening democracy itself. We all take pride in the fact that unlike Pakistan, we are a functional democracy. Does the BJP want to turn India into Pakistan?”

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