Court grants two-day police custody; SIT to grill Bharathi on his alleged hate speech

A city court here on Wednesday refused to grant bail to Hindu religious leader Swami Kamalananda Bharathi, who was arrested in connection with his alleged hate speech.

A magistrate in Nampally criminal court dismissed the swami’s bail petition and remanded him to police custody for two days. The two-day police remand is to enable the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to question him about the alleged hate speech the swami had delivered at a rally here on January 9. Bharathi is the president of Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi, which works to protect Hindu temples.

Protest near PS

Meanwhile, a group of saffron-clad sanyasis, who were taken into custody at the Raj Bhavan, staged a demonstration at Banjara Hills police station on Wednesday evening shouting slogans. The group wanted to meet the Governor and submit a memorandum before they were taken into custody.

“We wanted to meet the Chief Minister and the Governor and submit a memorandum in support of Kamalananda Bharathi but instead of granting an appointment, authorities have arrested,” Shiva Swamy, president of Vishwa Dharma Parirakshana Vedika, complained.

They demanded the immediate release of Bharathi, who was sent to a 14-day judicial remand after his arrest in Srisailam for his alleged hate speech.

The BJP and other groups also condemned his arrest and stages protests against the state government’s action.

Police booked a case against him for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.

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