Family members of the 15 youth held in Madhya Pradesh’s Mohad village for celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India in the Champions Trophy final, alleged conspiracy on part of the administration. According to kin of the accused, they are being targeted for not voting for the ruling BJP.
While speaking to Hindustan Times, the families alleged the involvement of political workers to divide the village into communal lines. “This is a conspiracy against us… a sedition charge will ruin our lives,” said Yusuf Tadvi, whose two nephews have been slapped with the sedition charge. However, the allegations of police targeting them for not voting for the BJP was dismissed by Burhanpur district superintendent RRS Parihar. The SP said there was clear evidence of pro-Pakistan slogans being raised and firecrackers being bursted to celebrate the victory of Pakistan at Champion’s Trophy final on Sunday.
Rafiq Imam, whose 25-year-old son is among the 15 arrested, said that the firecrackers were bursted in the village not by local Muslims, but ‘outsiders’. He further claimed that his son Mahmud was present in the house when Pakistan won the match, and had no role in bursting of firecrackers. Further lamenting the conspiracy charge, Gulshaer Gulzar claimed his younger brother Idris was picked up by police on Sunday night when he went out for dinner, further adding that he had no role in the firecrackers being bursted in the village.
A local Muslim advocacy group, led by activist Masood Ahmed Khan, accused police of pressing sedition charge against the youths without substantial evidence. The 15 accused, aged between 19-35, were arrested on Sunday and in the wee hours of Monday. The action was taken after a local resident, Subhash Laxman Koli, informed the police about firecrackers being bursted and pro-Pakistan slogans being raised. The accused were taken to a local court on Monday where their bail applications were rejected.
The police are prosecuting them under sections 124-A (sedition) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy). The former warrants life term in the case of conviction. lapping such serious charges on our people on flimsy grounds sends a very wrong signal to the community,” said Masood Ahmed.