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Controversy Surrounds Arrest Over Chanting

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The arrest of a worker affiliated with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly chanting “Pakistan Zindabad” during a 2022 protest has sparked controversy and accusations of political vendetta. Danayakapura Ravi, 34, was apprehended in Karnataka on March 4 following a complaint by a Congress worker regarding the incident that took place during a BJP protest at Mandya’s Sanjay Circle on December 22, 2022.

The arrest was made in connection with an FIR registered by the Mandya West Police after uproar over Congress workers chanting pro-Pakistan slogans while celebrating a victory in the Rajya Sabha elections on February 27. Three individuals were arrested based on forensic evidence, witness statements, and available proof. The case against Ravi was filed under sections 153B and 505 of the law, about statements threatening national integrity and causing public mischief.

The BJP’s Manya district unit president, Indresh N S, denounced the arrest as a politically motivated act of vendetta. He claimed that Ravi, a farmer who only speaks Kannada, inadvertently chanted “Zindabad for Pakistan” out of confusion during the protest against former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Indresh argued that the timing of the arrest, more than a year after the incident, was suspicious and suggested ulterior motives behind it. He further highlighted that the BJP workers were targeted unjustly by Congress following questions raised about pro-Pakistan slogans in another context.

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