Wednesday 27 October 2021
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HomePoliticsIndiaFarooq Abdullah to be challenged in court for threatening to separate Kashmir...

Farooq Abdullah to be challenged in court for threatening to separate Kashmir from India

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Farooq Abdullah, president of the National Conference and of Jammu & Kashmir’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, has been served a notice for his widely circulated speech where he had implied that Kashmir would separate from India if Indians were to elect the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as their Prime Minister.

A legal notice served by Imran Chaudhary, national co-convenor of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), and Ghulam Ahmed Meer, president of the Peace Foundation, to Abdullah questions why he said that those who voted for Modi should jump into the sea. “Why should we go? This is our home. We are its owners,” the petitioners assert. The MRM is a part of the Sangh Parivar.

The notice also takes to task Omar Abdullah for saying that he would rather go to Pakistan than be stopped from criticising Modi. The J&K Chief Minister had said, “Thanks to the -Muzaffarabad bus, i won’t have to go to New Delhi. I can board the bus from here only (sic).” The notice labels this statement as “anti-patriotic” and “anti-secular”.

This stand taken by the -son duo is “a serious blow to the country’s fight against terror and anti-national activities”, the petitioners say, adding, “by your conduct and act, you… (have) torpedoed the stand over the Kashmir issue. Those employing (a) terror machine against our nation are overjoyed at your stand…”

Taking up cudgels on behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the petitioners say, “… your ill-designed, irresponsible remarks that are bereft of any basis whatsoever are actuated by malice against the BJP and their supporters. These are… aimed at appeasing the Muslim community in particular in order to get their vote and support in your political career as well as elections.”

Given that the Abdullahs have been in public life for a long time, and Omar Abdullah holds a constitutional post, the “offence… becomes graver”, the notice reads. It is amazing, the petitioners say, that the accused “know fully well that they have the tendency to severely hurt the emotions of the people of India and (the) secular system of India at large.”

The offences, if proved, are punishable under the provisions of Sections 153, 153A, 298 and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other provisions of law.

[a सिर्फ़ News exclusive]

What these Sections of the IPC say

Sec 153: Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot—if rioting be committed—if not committed.—Whoever malignantly, or wantonly, by doing anything which is illegal, gives provocation to any person intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause the offence of rioting to be committed, shall, if the offence of rioting be committed in consequence of such provocation, be punished with imprisonment of either de­scription for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both; and if the offence of rioting be not committed, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

153A. Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.—

(1) Whoever—

(a) by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different reli­gious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communi­ties, or

(b) commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquillity, 2[or] 2[(c) organizes any exercise, movement, drill or other similar activity intending that the participants in such activity shall use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence, or participates in such activity intending to use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the partici­pants in such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence, against any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community and such activity for any reason whatsoever causes or is likely to cause fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity amongst members of such religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community,] shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both. Offence committed in place of worship, etc.—(2) Whoever commits an offence specified in sub-section (1) in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious wor­ship or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.]

Sec 298: Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person — Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places, any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with im­prisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

Sec 505 (2): Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement or report containing rumour or alarming news with intent to create or promote, or which is likely to create or promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine, or with both.

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