BJP's Shazia Ilmi confronts anti-India protesters in Seoul
BJP leader Shazia Ilmi took on protesters in South Korea's capital Seoul, who were carrying Pakistan's flags and raising anti-India slogans on Friday. Ilmi was in Seoul for the United Peace Federation conference for the Global Citizen Forum delegation with two other leaders. The three spotted the protestors when they went to the Indian Embassy after the conference. Here are more details.
In a video accessed by ANI, the protesters can be seen chanting the slogans "Haq hai humara Aazadi" (Freedom is our right) and "Hum leke rahenge Aazadi" (We will take freedom). The protesters also called India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi "terrorists". Ilmi intervened and is seen requesting them not to abuse the PM. She then shouted the slogan "Inquilab Zindabad" and "India Zindabad."
Reportedly, the protesters were speaking up against the abrogation of Article 370. They were criticizing India's move to repeal Jammu and Kashmir's special status and the state's bifurcation into J&K and Ladakh union territories. When Ilmi, accompanied by two Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders, took on the protesters, local police quickly intervened and escorted them to a different location to prevent further escalation.
Ilmi said, "We felt it was our duty to tell them to not abuse our country or our Prime Minister. You have a problem with the abrogation of Article 370, which totally is an internal matter, and it has nothing to do with you all."
Maintaining that it's important to register a protest, Ilmi said, "[In] some countries, it's not easy to speak out. It's important to peacefully register your anger at being insulted as a countryman, as an Indian." She added, "Any time somebody says anything about your country, your PM, you should raise your voice and not necessarily fear the consequences if you're doing it peacefully."
On August 5, as India abrogated Article 370, it imposed a curfew and a communications blackout in the region, which has now been partially removed. Following the move, Pakistan formally suspended trade with India. Additionally, Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy, Ajay Bisaria, and railway transport connecting India and Pakistan, the Samjhauta Express and the Thar Express, were stopped.