PATNA: Two youths were arrested in Bihar’s Araria on Friday for allegedly raising “Pakistan zindabad” slogans soon after the Opposition RJD leader Sarfaraz Alam defeated BJP’s Pradeep Kumar Singh by a huge margin in the bypoll for the Araria Lok Sabha seat.
A video clip of the sloganeering incident circulating on the social media shows three youths wearing green headbands screaming “Pakistan zindabad” and “Bharat tere tukde-tukde honge” (India will be torn into pieces). The sloganeering was conducted allegedly by Alam’s supporters in front of his house.
Sultan Aazmi and Shehjad, two college students and neighbours of the newly-elected MP, were arrested after the losing candidate, Pradeep Kumar Singh, a former BJP MP, complained of the incident and a suo-moto FIR was lodged by the SHO of Araria police station, Dipankar Shri Gyan. The third accused, Arif Raza, is the son of a local ward councilor, said police.
“Efforts are on to arrest the third accused. The three youths are students who raised such slogans in a fit of misplaced excitement. Those who have circulated this video clip will also be arrested,” said Araria DSP Kumar Devendra Singh.
The two arrested youths, however, told journalists during their arrest that they had not raised any such slogans and that they are being framed. MP Sarfaraz Alam said: “No such incident ever happened in Araria. Arrests should have been made only after authenticating the contents of the video.”
The matter echoed in the Bihar Legislative Council, where BJP legislators raised the matter and targeted RJD. But RJD legislators blamed BJP for the incident and said the video clip was a handiwork of BJP supporters. The RJD legislators also condemned Union minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh for saying that Sarfaraz Alam’s victory would turn Araria into a hub of terrorism.
Significantly, an analysis of the viral video by fact-checking organisation Alt News has raised serious suspicions about its authenticity. “Even a casual look at the video will make it apparent that there are serious issues with lip sync in the video,” said the organisation on its website.
“It is possible that this is a doctored video. The matter should be investigated. Innocent people should not be punished,” said Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav of RJD.
Senior BJP leader and Bihar minister Nand Kishore Yadav said: “Nobody raising pro-Pakistan slogans will be spared. RJD is trying had to save its skin”. RJD leader Bhai Birendra dubbed the video clip as a “conspiracy of BJP”.
“At its offices, BJP trains people to perpetrate terrorist acts and start riots. This video clip affair is BJP’s ploy to defame RJD after losing the Araria bypoll,” said Birendra.