This Article is From Aug 18, 2021

Sedition Case Against Samajwadi Party MP Over Taliban Remarks

Shafiqur Barq's remark was met with fierce criticism from Deputy UP Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who compared it to Pak PM Imran Khan's comment after the fall of Kabul

Shafiqur Rahman Barq is the Samajwadi Party's Lok Sabha MP from UP's Sambhal (File)


A sedition case has been filed against a Samajwadi Party MP and two others in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal district over alleged remarks that compare the Taliban to India's freedom fighters

"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," Charkhesh Mishra, the Superintendent of Police in Chambhal district, said in a video statement released today.

"The Taliban is a terrorist organisation as per the Indian government and this (the alleged remarks) can be counted as sedition. We have filed a FIR (first information report)," he added.

On Monday, the Samajwadi Party's Shafiqur Barq - the Lok Sabha MP from Sambhal - allegedly told reporters the Taliban "want Afghanistan to be free" and "want to run their own country".

According to news agency PTI, Barq called the Taliban a 'force that did not allow Russia or the US to establish themselves in Afghanistan', and said the terrorist group's actions were 'an internal matter'.

"They want to be free. This is their personal matter. How can we interfere?" he was quoted by PTI; he reportedly also said that when the British occupied India, 'the entire country fought for independence'.

However, Barq today issued a statement saying he did not make any such remark and that whatever he had said had been misinterpreted.

"I didn't make any such statement (comparing Taliban with Indian freedom fighters). My statement has been misinterpreted. I'm a citizen of India, not of Afghanistan... so I've no business with what is happening there. I support my government's policies," he was quoted by news agency ANI UP.

The remark was met with fierce criticism from Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who compared it to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's comment after the fall of Kabul.

"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 said outside the Assembly building in Lucknow.

"If this statement has been given (Mr Maurya said he had not personally heard the alleged statement) then there is no difference between that person and Imran Khan," he added.

The Taliban took effective control of Afghanistan Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled and the terror group walked into Kabul with no opposition.

It capped a staggeringly fast rout of Afghanistan's major cities in just 10 days, achieved with relatively little bloodshed, following two decades of war that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

On Monday Imran Khan said: "... in Afghanistan... they have broken the shackles of slavery."

With input from ANI, PTI