Azam Khan booked for sedition over remarks against Army

The case against Azam Khan was registered following a complaint by VHP leader Anil Pandey.

The case against Azam Khan was registered following a complaint by VHP leader Anil Pandey.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan was on Saturday booked for sedition for allegedly making derogatory remarks against the Indian Army in which he referred to the mutilation of the bodies of jawans by women militants.

A case was registered against him at Chandpur police station in Bijnore in west Uttar Pradesh under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code.

The FIR also invoked Sections 131 (abetting mutiny or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief). VHP leader Anil Kumar Pandey had lodged the complaint.

While addressing a gathering in Rampur, his home district, on July 27, Mr. Khan hinted that excesses done by the armed forces in sensitive areas of the country were “compelling women militants to chop the private parts of jawans as revenge.” He said soldiers were being beaten up by women in conflict-areas of Kashmir, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Jharkhand.

“Many people mutilate heads or chop off hands, but in this instance, they did not have any complaint with the head, the hands or the foot. Women militants mutilated the private parts of the soldiers and took them away. The body part that they had a grievance with, they chopped it off. It sends a big message, something that entire India should be ashamed of,” Mr. Khan said.

‘Path of bullet’

He also said the act of mutilation of the private parts by the women militants revealed the truth of the actual life of the Indian society and that the country was deviating from its path of the ballot and instead adopting the path of bullet.

Mr. Khan’s remarks kicked up a storm, especially on social media where clips of his speech were widely circulated.

Another case was lodged against the former Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister in Rampur following a complaint by Akash Saxena, son of former BJP minister Shiv Bahadur Saxena.

Mr. Khan was booked under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).

In his complaint, Mr. Saxena said Mr. Khan’s comments dented the “morale of the Army” and their sentiment towards the constitution, and his words were therefore, “anti-constitutional, anti-army and anti-India.”

Bajrang Dal’s complaint

Bajrang Dal leaders in Meerut also filed a complaint against the Rampur MLA.

Mr. Khan later clarified that his comments were taken out of context and presented in a misleading manner. He did not intend to insult the Army, he claimed.

TV channel blamed

“The meaning of my words has been misconstrued. The media published this news. If it was so sensitive, why was it not censored, why did the TV telecast it,” he asked flashing newspaper clippings that carried news of mutilation of private parts of six jawans by female Naxals in Sukma.

“How can the Army’s morale fall because of me? I am nobody. The Army’s morale fell when Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Pakistan, while our soldiers were being beheaded,” said Mr. Khan.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 10:12:48 PM |

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