Dalit activist held for five-year-old social media post

Published - April 30, 2022 10:44 am IST - Belagavi

Harohalli Ravindra

Harohalli Ravindra | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The Chikkodi police have arrested Harohalli Ravindra, a Dalit activist, for a social media post attributed to him that allegedly insulted Hindu gods.

The arrest was made in Mysuru on Friday. The message was reportedly posted in 2017. “The accused is being brought to Chikkodi. There is a provision in the criminal procedure code of presenting the arrested persons within 24 hours of arrest, excluding the time of travel. That provision will be followed,” a senior police officer said.

A case (number 402 of 2017) was filed in Chikkodi following a post by Mr. Ravindra in which he allegedly insulted Hindu gods. A case has been booked under IPC 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class). The maximum punishment provided under the code is two years imprisonment and fine.

The local court issued a non-bailable warrant in this case. For five years, investigators had been filing charge-sheets, identifying the accused as absconding. But he has now been traced in Mysuru and held, a police officer said. Officers maintain that the accused was sent a notice in 2019, but he had not attended the court till now. Hence the arrest, an officer said.

Chandrashekar Bapu Munde, a Hindutva activist, had filed the complaint against Mr. Ravindra in 2017.

B.K. Hariprasad, Congress leader, has tweeted in support of Mr. Ravindra. He said that young leaders like Jignesh Mevani, Gujarat MLA, and Mr. Ravindra were being targetted by a fascist regime. He demanded that Mr. Ravindra be released immediately.

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