Written byShalini Ojha ·
Over the last few days, the azadi slogan has dominated the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, but Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has called it an act of treason and warned his government will file sedition charges against the miscreants.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader made the remarks during a rally in Kanpur, organized to drum support for the controversial law.
The protests against CAA, that stems from the emotion that the citizenship of Muslims will be questioned, rocked UP last month.
Having started in Lucknow, the agitation spread to other parts of the state like wildfire.
After vandals took to streets and defaced public property, police came down heavily. More than 20 people lost their lives, raising questions on police brutality.
The protests brought bad press for the current regime, hence, it is reaching out to people.
Berating the protesters at one such event, Adityanath said, "If anyone raises slogans of azadi in the name of protest, it will amount to sedition and the government will take strict action. It can't be accepted. People can't be allowed to conspire against India from Indian soil."
Adityanath also had sour words for women, who are leading protests in places like Delhi's Shaheen Bagh.
He said, "These people do not have the courage to participate in the protests on their own. They know if they indulge in vandalism, their properties will be attached. Now, they have started making women and children of their house sit on roads."
UP also became the first state to ask vandals to pay for losses. The administration made it clear that if they can't, their properties will be attached. By December 25, the administration served notices to over 300 people, identified on the basis of CCTV footage.
The firebrand politician also claimed opposition parties were putting women at the forefront of protests.
"How shameful is this for the Congress, SP and Left to do politics putting the country at stake and adopting such methods of protest where women are put in the front, who do not even know about CAA," he said and claimed the nation was not important for them.
"The Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis are not important. Now, for the Congress, even the Christians are not important. And they have said the protests will continue against the CAA until the ISI agents are given entry into India," he went on.
The 'azadi slogan Adityanath referred to gained attention in India's political consciousness in 2016 when a couple of then-JNU students, including Kanhaiya Kumar, raised it at a protest. Kumar was later charged with sedition.
Last year, the slogan found a place in India's entry for Oscars, Gully Boy, and BJP also used the rap to slam Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
However, critics feel those raising the azadi slogan are disrespecting the ordeal of Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to leave their homes in 1990 courtesy Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.
The terrorists used the same slogan to threaten the minority Hindu community while waging a war against the Indian state.
That fellow countrymen are shouting the same words, has brought nothing but grief for the displaced.
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