India sedition row: Now saying 'Pakistan is not hell' may land you in trouble

After being booked for sedition, Ramya has refused to apologise for the remark. Photograph:( Facebook )

WION Bengaluru, Karnataka, India Aug 23, 2016, 07.51 AM (IST)
Days after sedition charges slapped on the Indian chapter of Amnesty International triggered a raging debate, a former member of the Indian Parliament has now been booked for sedition for saying 'Pakistan is not hell'. 

Actor-turned-politician Divya Spandana, known by her stage name Ramya, made the remark apparently while reacting to Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar's statement that, 'going to Pakistan is going to hell'.  

"Pakistan is not hell. People are just like us. They treated us very well," the Congress MP said.  

A complaint against her has been reportedly filed by K. Vittal Gowda, an advocate based in the town of Coorg, under Section 200 of Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.Pc) in the first Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) court in Somwarpet in Kodagu district. 

The sedition heat also seethed Ramya on Twitter with social media users divided over the controversy. 
The Congress leader however, refused to apologise over her remarks. "It's freedom of speech, also our duty to speak on inclusiveness & peace. Curbing freedoms is wrong in democracy,"  she told ANI. 
  She added saying that 'politicians want to polarise and spread hatred'. "Just because borders separate us we shouldn't hate others,"  she further said. 

"Everybody is entitled to their views and that is what democracy is about,you can't force your ideology on anyone," the politician was quoted as saying. 

It's pertinent to mention that rights group Amnesty International is also facing sedition charges for alleged anti-India slogans raised during an event it hosted. 

(WION, with inputs from ANI)