National Conference leader Hilal Lone booked under UAPA for alleged hate speech in a DDC election rally, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti cry foul

Published : February 17, 2021 12:15 IST

Hilal Lone, a file photograph. Photo: Greater Kashmir

Hilal Lone, a senior National Conference (N.C.) leader, has been arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly delivering a hate speech at a rally during last year’s District Development Council (DDC) elections in Bandipora, the Jammu and Kashmir Police said on February 16.

Hilal Lone is the son of Mohammad Akbar Lone, N.C’s Lok Sabha member. He has been in detention at Srinagar’s MLA Hostel since December 2019.

He was booked under various sections of the UAPA in a first information report (FIR) registered at a police station in Hajin in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. The case relates to a speech he made during a public rally while campaigning for the DDC elections in Hajin.

Both Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, have come down heavily against the detention and the slapping of the UAPA against Hilal Lone.

Omar Abdullah, N.C. vice president, said: “The BJP has a completely different standard when it comes to hate speech from its own leaders. They can call for hands to be cut off, people to be murdered and it’s fine. Hilal Lone makes a speech and anti-terror laws are used to book him.”

Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “GOI [Government of India] continues to shamelessly book Kashmiri mainstream leaders under UAPA for ‘hate speech’. The truth is that there won’t be enough room in Indian prisons if their own Ministers, lawmakers and noxious IT Cell were brought to book for inciting communal passions against minorities.”

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