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Case filed against Sidhu in India for hugging Pakistan army chief

NEW DELHI: A sedition case was registered against ex-Indian cricketer and a sitting minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu, for hugging Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the oath ceremony of new Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Congress leader and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was slapped with a sedition case on Monday by a lawyer in Bihar as he claimed that the gesture of Sidhu was tantamount to insulting the Indian Army.

Sudhir Kumar Ojha, known for indicting celebrities, filed the petition with Muzaffarpur’s chief judicial magistrate.

‘Tackling Indian media’: Sidhu defends hug to Pakistan army chief

Ojha said it was unbecoming of Sidhu to attend the celebrations in the neighbouring country at a time when the nation was mourning the death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Worse, he said, his actions there put India on a low beside causing insult to the Indian soldiers.

“I have urged the court to book Siddhu under IPC sections 124 A, 153 B and 504 for hurting the nation’s sentiments and order for his arrest,” he said.

Ojha, who has lodged cases against celebrities including cricket stars, politicians and Bollywood actors over various issues, added the court admitted his plea and fixed August 24 as the next date for hearing in the case.

The cricketer-turned-politician has been under attack by his boss Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh as well as the opposition.

Singh said on Sunday he was “not in favour” of Sidhu hugging the Pakistan army chief. He also clarified that Sidhu’s decision to attend the ceremony had nothing to do with his government, and said the cricketer-turned-politician had gone there in his personal capacity.

Siddhu, on his part, clarified his stand on the controversial issues.

“If someone (referring to Gen Bajwa) comes to me and says that we belong to the same culture and we will open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Parv (birth anniversary), what else I could do?” said Sidhu while responding to the media queries.

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