Kerala writer charged with sedition for Facebook post on National Anthem

Kamal C Chavara, a writer and theatre activist from Kerala, has been charged with sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code and was arrested by the Kerala police on Sunday for allegedly insulting the National Anthem in his Facebook post, reported The Indian Express.

The report added that a member of the BJP's Yuva Morcha had filed the police complaint.

 Kerala writer charged with sedition for Facebook post on National Anthem

Kamal C Chavara. Photo courtesy: Facebook

The Indian Express report stated that the writer had posted an except from his recent Malayalam novel where he described a situation where school students sing the National Anthem to go to the washroom.

Sateesh Bino, district police chief of Kollam, told NDTV that the writer has been under scanner in the past as well. "But, for now he is being questioned for his controversial post on the national anthem on Facebook," he said.

Chavara's arrest elicited widespread outrage on social media.

Earlier, six people, including a woman, were taken into custody by police on Monday for not standing up when the National Anthem was played ahead of the screening of a film at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram.

At the Nishagandhi Auditorium, the group of six had refused to stand up, despite being told a few times by a policeman and the organisers, and were taken into custody.

The action came hours after activists of the BJP's youth wing complained to state police chief Loknath Behra pointing out that some people at the screenings were not standing up when the National Anthem was being played.

The Supreme Court recently had directed cinema halls to play the National Anthem before the start of movies, saying it will instil "constitutional patriotism as well as committed patriotism and nationalism".

The playing of the anthem will be accompanied by an image of the National Flag on the screen, the court said while barring its commercial exploitation, dramatisation or playing of an abridged version.

With inputs from IANS

Updated Date: Dec 19, 2016 14:44:37 IST