Kundapur man facing blasphemy charge in Saudi Arabia returns home

Police found out that the offensive post was the work of two men from Moodabidri

Updated - November 22, 2021 09:59 pm IST

Published - August 18, 2021 04:41 pm IST - Mangaluru

Harish Bangera with his family at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on August 18, 2021.

Harish Bangera with his family at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on August 18, 2021.

A 34-year-old man from Kundapur taluk in Udupi district, who was detained in Saudi Arabia following charges of blasphemy, landed in Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on August 18.

Harish Bangera was an air-conditioning technician with a company in Dammam. He landed in trouble in 2019 following a post in his Facebook account, and was detained.

In a complaint to the Kundapur police, his wife Sumana, who lives in Beejady near Kundapur, said some persons had created a fake Facebook account in her husband's name and posted blasphemous content. Following an investigation, police arrested Abdul Huyez and Abdul Thuyez from Moodabidri, who allegedly created the fake account and posted the content.

Human rights activist Ravindranath Shanbhag of Udupi worked closely with Mr. Bangera’s family for nearly two years to enable diplomatic help. The Udupi police, through Director General and Inspector General of Police Praveen Sood and the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia, informed the Saudi Arabian government about the arrest. Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shobha Karandlaje followed up with embassy officials to ensure safe passage for Mr. Bangera to India.

Mr. Bangera boarded a flight in Damman airport and headed to Doha (Qatar) from where he reached Bengaluru on August 18 morning. He was received at the airport in Bengaluru by Sumana and other family members. The family left for Kundapur by road.

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