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Criminal complaint against Azad, Soz for 'seditious' statement against Indian Army

By Deepika

New Delhi, June 29: A criminal complaint has been filed against Congress leaders Gulam Nabi Azad and Saifuddin Soz for making 'seditious statements against the Indian Army. The complaint has been filed in Delhi's Patiala House Court.

File photo of Ghulam Nabi Azad

The plea filed by an advocate has sought action against the politician for offences under sections 124 (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 505 (1) (spreading rumour about army/navy/air force official which is likely to cause mutiny) of the IPC, claiming that the alleged remarks were painting the Army as killers of innocents which was "nothing less than waging war against the country".

The matter has been listed for hearing tomorrow before a magisterial court here.

According to the complaint lodged by advocate Shashi Bhushan, in a TV interview on June 22, Azad had allegedly said the "Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir was killing more civilians than terrorists during military operations in the state."

The complaint also accused the former J and K Chief Minister of spreading hatred and trying to malign the country's image.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad sparked a controversy after he said that Army operations in Jammu and Kashmir killed more civilians than terrorists.

In his statement, Azad claimed that forces take action against four terrorists and kill 20 civilians. Citing an example, Azad said security forces killed 13 civilians in Pulwama and just one terrorist.

Another Congress leader and former Union minister Saifuddin Soz had created a furore by toeing the line taken by former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Kashmir. Speaking to news agency ANI, Soz said that given a choice, Kashmiris would prefer to be independent.

Soz had also claimed that Musharraf had shared this view with his military brass and ministers in the government ahead of the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Islamabad visit in 2007.

Hitting out at the Congress, BJP President Amit Shah had dared the grand old party to take action against its state leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saifuddin Soz for their comments, and sought their apology.

He said after the BJP withdrew support from the coalition government, the Congress "started showing its true colours" in anticipation of elections.

"Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad made a statement which I cannot even repeat here. And immediately after it, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) supported that statement," Shah said.

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