Pakistani man arrested for pro-India slogan
A Pakistani man has been arrested in the city of Haripur for writing “Long live India” on a wall.
Police said the 20-year-old match factory worker had admitted writing the slogan “Hindustan Zindabad”.
The Persian term Hindustan continued to be used as a name for the Republic of India after partition.
The man told police he liked Bollywood music and films and wanted to be an actor. He could face up to seven years in jail.
Legal experts say that although the slogan itself is not specifically banned, it could be interpreted under section 505 of the law as incitement to mutiny, endangering the lives of military personnel or incitement to violence against the state.
The man, Sajid Shah, has now been transferred to prison under judicial custody.
Investigating officer, Abdul Rehan, told the BBC: “He is the eldest of four brothers and, since the death of his father, is the only breadwinner of the family.”
Mr Shah left school to work in the match factory.
The police report said a patrol had been informed of the words on the wall of a house in the Makhan colony.
“The police knocked at the door and a young man came out. He said that he had written those words,” the report said.
In January last year, a Pakistani fan and lookalike of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was arrested for hoisting India’s flag at his home as a tribute to him. He was charged but later acquitted.
Last December, an Indian fan was beaten up and then arrested for wearing a shirt sporting the name of Pakistani cricketer, Shahid Afridi.
In June this year, charges of sedition were brought, but subsequently dropped, against 15 Muslim men in India’s Madhya Pradesh state for allegedly shouting “anti-India and pro-Pakistan” slogans during the Champions Trophy cricket final.
The men were charged with “disturbing communal harmony” instead.