Police have jailed seven people and several other unidentified people for allegedly shouting “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans in the Handia neighborhood of Prayagraj on Saturday. While the police claimed they suspected the accused of being affiliated with the Samajwadi Party (SP), the party’s district unit dismissed the charge, saying the police were trying to substantiate a false accusation against the party workers.
The Handi Assembly segment voted on Sunday in the fifth phase of the seven-phase ballots. Upon learning of a video circulating on social media, the police launched an investigation and filed an FIR. “During a preliminary investigation, we learned that the video was shot in the town of Barhot in Prayagraj. Seven people have been identified in the video. Police are trying to verify the identities of others seen brandishing ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans in the video,” said Police Station Officer Kesav Das Verma (Handia).
“During the preliminary investigation, it emerged that those named in the FIR are associated with the Samajwadi party,” the SHO said, adding that no one had been arrested so far.
The seven were charged under ICC Article 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.), 188 (disobeying an order duly issued by an official) and 295 (damaging or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class).
Chairman of the SP’s Prayagraj district unit, Yogesh Yadav, accused the police of wrongfully trying to implicate party workers. “No reprehensible slogans were launched by the workers of our party. The police are trying to trap our party workers in bogus cases,” Yadav said.