Woman jailed for wishing Pakistanis on Republic Day via WhatsApp

Bagalkot: A Muslim woman in Bagalkot, Karnataka, found herself in jail after wishing people through WhatsApp status on Pakistan’s Republic Day, March 23.

Kuthma Sheikh, 25, shared a picture that said “celebrating Pakistan Resolution Day” on her WhatsApp status with a caption in Urdu, “Allah Har Mulk me Ittihaad…Aman…Sukoon…Ata Farma Maula” (may Allah grant unity, peace and harmony in every country). She is a senior student at the local madrasa.

An activist named Arun Kumar Bhajantri filed a complaint with the Mudhol police of the status and demanded that she be “arrested for treason”. A complaint was registered, and Kuthma was arrested and placed under judicial custody till March 24.

She was arrested under Indian Penal Code section 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) and 505(2) (Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes).

“Her post could be interpreted as if it was meant to commemorate Pakistan’s Republic Day. It could lead to unrest and protests and counter-protests if we had not acted on time,” a senior police officer told The Hindu.

Meanwhile, netizens on social media are reminding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was hailed when he wished on the same occasion. A few of them termed it hypocrisy.

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