“Kashimiris, leave Uttar Pradesh, or else…” Hoardings with an ominous warning to Kashmiris in Uttar Pradesh have been spotted in Meerut. The hoarding calls for a “boycott of Kashmiris who throw stones at the Indian army.” Put up by Uttar Pradesh Navnirman Sena (UPNS), they carry a photograph of their leader, Amit Jani.

Amit Jani, the national president of UPNS, on his Facebook page has posted pictures of the hoardings repeating the message that a warning has been given.

He also claimed on his Facebook account that this campaign to oust Kashmiris is a 3 month campaign where in all businesses of Kashmiris will be shut down in a ‘democratic’ manner.

A quick glance at the comments shows many of his followers appreciating the move. “Wherever you see a Kashmiri, start bashing him up”, says a FB user in a comment.

Amit Jani was in the news in May last year when he was arrested for threatening to kill JNU’s Kanhaiyya Kumar and Umar Khalid. Jani shot to fame in 2012, when he vandalised Mayawati’s statue in Lucknow. A Samajwadi Party activist in those days, Jani faced criminal cases and was jailed for six months.

However, by 2016, he had made up with Mayawati and celebrated her 60th birthday with great enthusiasm. He also contested the Muzzafarnagar by-election in 2016 as an independent candidate.

Amit Jani’s Facebook page shows him to be close to politicians across different parties. He has several pictures with SP leaders and more recently with BJP leaders.

As the outrage against these posters built up, Amit Jani has already posted his statement to CNN News18 on his Facebook page clarifying that “we are boycotting Kashmiris in Uttar Pradesh. This is a notice, we are not threatening them”. However, the damage is already done. The message to Kashmiris to leave Uttar Pradesh is not only up in Meerut city as a hoarding, it has also been circulated widely on social media.

Soon after the Photos went viral, Twitter used Anurag Tripathi who is a former journalist from Tehelka and News Laundry tagged UP Police and requested for action. UP Police promptly replied and a case was registered against Amit Jani, the leader of the organisation, for spreading communal hatred.

Though the case was registered on 21st Early Morning. He continued to post news links covering his story until Evening.

We now wait to see what action, if any will be taken against him by Uttar Pradesh authorities for these provocative posters targeting Kashmiris.

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