Coming down heavily on the police and the State for framing sedition charges against two women and Shaheen School authorities for a student’s dialogues in a play that were allegedly “insulting” the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah on Friday held that the words uttered by the child in the play cannot even be construed as defamation.
“It was a satiric drama and whatever was said by that girl in the drama, even if it targeted the Prime Minister or anybody else, cannot be construed as sedition. It does not attract even defamation charges. Pushing two innocent women behind bars is a deliberate and inhuman effort to create fear among people,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said. He met the arrested women — Nazbunnisa, mother of the 11-year-old girl, and Fareeda Begum, headmistress of the school — in Bidar jail on Friday.
Referring to the sedition charges “falsely” framed against innocent people elsewhere in the State, including one on a Mysuru student for displaying a ‘Free Kashmir’ poster, the former Chief Minister said sedition cases were being booked on flimsy grounds to suppress the freedom of expression.
Referring to a play staged by children in a school run by RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, hailing the demolition of Babri Masjid, Mr. Siddaramaiah questioned why sedition charges were not slapped against Mr. Bhat even though the drama in question justified the demolition of the masjid which was termed illegal by the Supreme Court.
“Sedition cases are being deliberately booked against those who oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA and the National Register of Citizens ( NRC). Without a clear instruction from the State government, the police cannot book such cases. It is clear that the government is behind it. An undeclared Emergency is in force in India today,” he said, and asserted that he would raise the issue in the Assembly.