A Pegadapalli mandal resident, who migrated to Gulf nations to eke out a living, was arrested by the Riyadh police last month for his ‘blasphemous’ postings on Facebook and other social media.
The family members of Ponnam Shankar, a native of Shalapalli village in Pegadapalli mandal, had approached the district authorities and informed about his arrest and urged the authorities for his safe return. They told the district authorities that Shankar studied up to sixth class and was working as gardener in Saudi. Jagtial Collector A Sharath said that he received a petition from the family members about the arrest of Ponnam Shankar for his blasphemous posting through his mobile phone in Riyadh in November. He said that he had immediately written to the State government about the plight of his poor family here in Shalapalli village. He also said that the State government had written to the Union Ministry of External Affairs to take necessary action. Gulf Returnees Welfare Society president Chand Pasha said that the family had approached him for assistance after the arrest of Shankar. But, he advised them to approach the Collector, he said and added that Shankar had committed serious crime as per Gulf Nation’s laws and he would be punished severely. Reports said the Riyadh police arrested Shankar for posting a superimposed picture of Hindu God (Shiva) over Islam’s holy site, on November 12 and he was arrested by the police on November 21 after thorough investigations by the local agencies.