A leader of right-wing group Sri Ram Sene has announced a bounty of Rs 3 lakh for those who would "chop off the tongues" of three Kashmiri engineering students who have been charged with sedition for chanting pro-Pakistan slogans in Karnataka's Hubli district. The remarks have been made by Siddalinga Swami, the honourary secretary of Sri Ram Sene, according to a video that is doing the rounds of social media.
“On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, I am telling you that those who have been nurtured by India and chanted Pakistan Zindabad, who are currently in jail, those tongues, with which they chanted Pakistan Zindabad, whoever can cut off those tongues and bring them, the Sri Ram Sene will give them Rs 1 lakh for each tongue – hence, a total of Rs 3 lakh as a reward. Such anti-nationals do not deserve to be in this state. The Sri Ram Sene is ready to take on those who oppose the country,” Siddalinga Swami is reported to have said in Kannada, at an event in Gadag on the evening of Feb 19.
The matter had come to light after one of the students recorded a video, with the theme song of Pakistan Army playing in the background. The student, identified as Basit, can be heard saying in the video in Kashmiri, “My name is Basit and I am a resident of Sopore. I am doing fine here and hope you are fine there too.”
The video created a stir locally, and soon it is believed to have become viral, triggering protests at the college.
The students were on Monday ordered to be sent to judicial custody till March 2.
According to a news report, no complaint has been registered so far against the Sri Ram Sene leader for his remarks.