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Sedition case filed against Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq in Uttar Pradesh

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A Samajwadi Party MP from Uttar Pradesh has landed in trouble for equating Afghanistan’s takeover by the Taliban with that of India’s freedom struggle.

The parliamentarian from Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district Shafiqur Rahman Barq has been charged with sedition, promoting enmity between groups and outraging religious feelings based on a complaint by BJP’s regional vice president (Western Uttar Pradesh) Rajesh Singhal.

Charkhesh Mishra, the superintendent of police in Chambhal district, said, “A case was registered late last night against Shafiqur Rahman Barq and two others for provocative comments about the Taliban. The complainant said the Taliban was compared to Indian freedom fighters and their victory was celebrated. The Taliban is a terrorist organisation as per the Indian government and the alleged remarks can be counted as sedition. We have filed an FIR.”

What Shafiqur Rahman Barq said

The Samajwadi Party MP had issued a statement on Monday, August 16, hailing the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and comparing their assault on the country with India’s freedom struggle. “When India was under British rule, our country fought for freedom. Now Taliban wants to free their country and run it. Taliban is a force that did not allow even strong countries like Russia and the US to settle in their country,” Barq had said.

BJP criticises Barq

The statement by Burq drew sharp criticism from UP’s Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. The latter said, “Anything can happen in the Samajwadi Party. There are people who cannot sing ‘Jana Gana Mana’… someone might support the Taliban, others could level allegations on police after terrorists are caught. This is appeasement.”

He added, “If this statement has been given, then there is no difference between that person and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.” Notably, Imran Khan had earlier this week said, “In Afghanistan, they have broken the shackles of slavery.” Notably, the terror organisation has taken complete control of Afghanistan after the US forces withdrew from the nation and President Ashraf Ghani, like many others, fled the country.

 

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