Poet, journalist arrested in Karnataka over anti-CAA poem

Siraj (left) and Rajabaxi (right)

Karnataka Police on Tuesday arrested a poet and a journalist over a poem against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Poet Siraj Bisaralli and journalist Rajabaxi H V were booked under Section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of IPC.

Siraj Bisaralli had recited his poem last month, which was posted on social media by the editor of a local Kannada media Kannadanet.com, Rajabaxi H V, according to Indian Express.

The Karnataka Police took action against the two based on a compliant filed by
BJP Yuva Morcha Koppal district general secretary Shivu Arakeri.

In his complaint, the BJP leader stated that Siraj Bisaralli insulted the policies of the Central government, Prime Minister Modi, freedom fighters and “Hindu dharma” at a function organised by the State government and sought suitable action against him.

Siraj had recited the poem during the Anegundi Utsav organised by the Kannada and Culture Department in association with the district administration at Gangavathi town of Koppal district. The poem was posted on social media by Rajabaxi.

Siraj Bisaralli is a well-known Kannada poet with two published anthologies of his poetry.

Siraj recited a seven-stanza poem titled “Ninna Dakhale Yaavaga Needutti”, which translates as “When will you show your papers?”

‘The pimps who were once British bootlickers,

Are now so intoxicated that they drink the blood of religious hatred

You, the descendants of [Joseph] Goebbels,

When will you show your papers?’

Frontline translates the stanza from Kannada.

“I only said what I felt about the CAA and NRC. Everyone all over the country is protesting against this law and now I can be arrested at any point,” days before arrest Siraj told Frontline.

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