Mumbai: Maharashtra Government on Sunday decided to invoke Sedition charges (section 124 (A) of IPC) against those persons who have raised "Pakistan Zindabad" slogans during a protest organised by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Pune. Chief minister Eknath Shinde said that the government will not tolerate any anti-national protests.
On the sideline of a program in Navi Mumbai, the chief minister said, "This is the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Anyone raising slogans like 'Pakistan Zindabad' will not be spared. The home department will take strict action in the matter."
According to reports, slogans of 'Pakistan Zindabad’ were heard outside the District Collector's office in Pune City on Friday where the PFI activists and workers gathered to protest against the raids carried out by multi-agency teams spearheaded by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The agencies had on Thursday arrested more than 100 leaders and activists of the radical Islamic outfit in simultaneous raids in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.
A video of the protest had surfaced on social media showing the protestors raising objectionable slogans. Pune police will conduct a forensic testing. DCP in Pune Police Sagar Patil said that the videos, which are currently available on social media, are being collected.
The Bund Garden police have started a probe by registering an FIR on charges such as holding an assembly without permission, rioting. Patil said that on the basis of the information that will come out during the probe, other sections will also be added in the FIR against the accused.
Maharashtra deputy chief minister and home minister Devendra Fadnavis also told the reporters that he has spoken with Pune Police Commissioner to invoke the sedition charges against the participants of the controversial protests.
Raj Thackeray led MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) on Sunday staged a protest against the PFI protests near Alka talkies in Pune.
However, Yuva Sena workers also protested outside the District Collector office, calling it a failure of the state government. Senior Congress leader Sachin Sawant asked why the BJP has not been able to ban the PFI so far.