The BJP had latched on to the message and questioned the Shiv Sena-led state government over the presence of such elements at a protest meant to oppose violence against JNU students.
Days after a woman was seen holding a ‘Free Kashmir’ placard at a protest in Mumbai, a similar poster made a brief appearance at a protest organised at the University of Mysore against the violent attack on students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). According to local media reports, one of the protesters was seen holding the “Free Kashmir” poster but was removed after a few minutes.
The protest was organised by the members of UoM Researchers Association, Dalit Vidyarthi Okkuta, Bahujan Vidyarthi Sangha, Students’ Federation of India, and All India Democratic Students Organisation, to express solidarity with the JNU students and oppose the attack last Sunday.
A poster with the same text was raised by a woman during a protest at the Gateway of India in Mumbai, drawing criticism from several right-wing groups and social media users. Under fire, the woman took to her Facebook account to issue an apology and clarified that she was referring to the restrictions in the Valley and nothing more.
‘Free Kashmir’ posters now emerge in Mysuru.
After Mumbai & Delhi, a similar poster was spotted at the University Of Mysore.
JNU violence is the pretext, but ‘Free Kashmir’ is the motive?
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) January 9, 2020
“The picture created by entire social media came as an absolute shock to me. The placard meant ‘freedom to express themselves, freedom from the Internet lockdown which many people have been voicing for. I was voicing my solidarity for basic Constitutional right. No other agenda or motive whatsoever,” she said in her video message.
The BJP had latched on to the message and questioned the Shiv Sena-led state government over the presence of such elements at a protest meant to oppose violence against JNU students. The Shiv Sena had clarified that the poster had nothing to do with the Kashmiri separatist movement and was only meant to highlight the restrictions in Kashmir.
Nevertheless, an FIR was registered against her and she has been booked under 153B of the IPC for imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration. The offence carries a jail term of five years. The FIR was filed suo motu by the Colaba Police.