JNU violence: Under fire, Mumbai girl says sorry for 'Free Kashmir' placard

The placard was seen in her hand on Monday evening during the protests in Mumbai to condemn the violence on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus two days ago, triggered a political controversy.

Published: 07th January 2020 02:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2020 10:36 AM   |  A+A-

'Free Kashmir' poster at Gateway of India protest

'Free Kashmir' poster at Gateway of India protest (Photo | ANI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: As a row erupted over a placard that read ‘Free Kashmir’ at the protest near Gateway of India here over JNU violence, Mumbai Police on Tuesday registered an FIR against Mehak Mirza Prabhu, who held the placard, under section 153 (B) of IPC at Colaba police station. Mehak in her defence claimed that the narrative that had been put out was “absolutely misinterpreted”.

ALSO READ: After eviction by Mumbai police, Gateway of India protest called off

“Like anybody else who believes in democracy, I also joined the protest...People were holding placards about many issues like NRC, CAA, JNU violence etc... While I was there, I spotted the placard that read ‘Free Kashmir’,” Mehak said in a YouTube video.

“When I saw that placard, the first thing that came to my mind is that we are here to talk about basic constitutional rights and freedom and those rights are completely gone for people of Kashmir which is under a five-month-long internet shutdown...,” she continued, while explaining her intention behind holding that placard. 

ALSO READ: JNU violence - Mumbai police shift protesters from Gateway of India to Azad Maidan 

However, as the controversy blew up, with Maharashtra government ordering a probe into her “antecedents”, Mehak tendered an apology. “If by being naive in understanding the impact it would have and in the process create this stir, I apologise. I am an artist who believes in basic human compassion. Let the power of love overcome hate,” she said. Mehak claimed that the controversy was blown out of proportion and that she feared for her safety.Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis earlier sought to corner the state government over the issue, asking if CM Uddhav Thackeray would tolerate such “anti-India campaign” right under his nose.

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