Mysuru: A girl student was seen holding a ‘Free Kashmir’ placard during a solidarity march with JNU students in Mysuru on Wednesday. The police were not able to identify the protester with the placard, they filed the charges against University of Mysore Research Students’ Association president Maridevaiah, who organised the protest, and others based on a report from beat police constable Mahendra M on Thursday.
Maridevaiah had denied all the charges against her and said mischief-mongers sneaked into the protest to spread hatred.
A statement, purportedly of the girl who carried the placard, was doing the rounds on social media.
The girl, who studied journalism in Mysuru before shifting to Gujarat for an advanced course, reportedly claimed the ‘Free Kashmir’ slogan referred to communication blockade and sought the lifting of curbs.
Mysuru City police commissioner KT Balakrishna said “A suo motu case was taken up against the protest organisers under Section 124-A (sedition) and Section 34 acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention of the Indian Penal Code. Sedition charges, if proved, carry a jail term up to 3 years.”
The police commissioner said “We launched the probe on Thursday after the placard video went viral. A team of officials visited the PG campus and enquired with the students about the incident. They collected the CCTV footage to identify the protesters,’’
Deputy CM CN Ashwath Narayan asked, “What do you mean by ‘Free Kashmir’?” “It is something we have been facing in this country for 72 years. We must send a clear message that disruptors cannot be entertained.”
Police had the case booked after governor Vajubhai Vala, who is the chancellor of the University of Mysore, sought a report from the varsity officials about the incident. The varsity, sources said, sent him a report that said it couldn’t identify the girl carrying the placard and, hence, sought police help to track her down.