The Ashoknagar Police on Wednesday arrested a 29-year-old sound engineer for allegedly disrespecting the national anthem. According to the police, Jithin, a sound engineer had come to Bengaluru from Australia a week ago and had decided to watch the movie Avengers: Endgame.
Jithin is a resident of Sanjayanagar and had gone to Australia as he was a part of a film crew that was shooting there.
“On Tuesday night, Jithin had gone to watch the movie and when the national anthem played before the film began, Jithin did not stand up for it,” Ashoknagar Police told TNM.
However, the man standing next to him, Suresh Kumar, took exception to Jithin’s behaviour and asked him to stand up.
“It’s not mandatory to stand up when the national anthem is being played but it is wrong if the national anthem is disrespected. Jithin conveyed this to Suresh Kumar and that’s when an argument began,” the police said.
Police say that Jithin and Suresh’s argument grew loud and the duo began hurling abuses at each other. “Suresh Kumar said that he would have let the argument pass if Jithin had only insulted him personally. According to his complaint, Jithin hurled expletives at the National Anthem,” the police added.
Suresh Kumar and Jithin were told to leave the movie theatre as their argument was disturbing the other viewers. “Suresh Kumar came to the station and filed a complaint just past midnight on Wednesday. Jithin was arrested within minutes and he later obtained bail,” the Ashoknagar Police added.
Jithin was booked under Prevention of Insult to National Honours Act. However, Jithin has stated that he was assaulted by 'thugs' because he did not stand up for the national anthem and claimed that the theatre has denied that any incident took place.
"I was assaulted and harassed by thugs at an @INOXMovies theater," Jithin said on Twitter, attaching a link to a Reddit thread, and added, "Now the mall came out officially denying anything happened. This is not right!"
@ndtv @TimesNow @abpnewstv @IndiaToday— Jithin Chand (@jithknot) May 10, 2019
I was assaulted and harassed by thugs at an @INOXMovies theater
Heres the Reddit post.https://t.co/SW5rsgiEUL
Now the mall came out officially denying anything happened.
This is not right!
Please share and retweet#BOYCOTTINOX
His statement on Reddit reads, "Thugs in front of me start a fight with me unprovoked because I did not stand up for the national anthem. I get hit on the face and they incite a crowd against me. They close in and shouting threats to my life. INOX PULLS ME OUT, and left the thugs there. Thank e manager was flippant towards me and when the police got involved he wrote his case report supporting the mob and against me.The thugs basically write some hit down and are left free. I was detained for bogus charges for not standing up and 'hurting the dignity of the soverign nation'. Not one person stood up for me when a mob threated my life. I am absolutely disgusted with everyone that was present yesterday. Im still seething from the injustice and urge you all to boycott inox. That was absolutely unacceptable (sic)."
Speaking to TNM, Jithin said that Suresh and his friends approached him at the theater after they noticed that he was seated when the national anthem was playing. Suresh Kumar allegedly spoke to Jithin in a threatening manner and when an argument ensued, Suresh allegedly punched Jintin in the face.
"He then began to incite people by telling them that I had disrespected the national anthem. I waited for the police to show up. Intiially, the police told me they wanted to take my statement as I wanted to file a case against those who had attacked me but later they began to act hostile towards me and detained me against my will," Jithin said.
Jithin maintained that sometime after the police had filed the FIR, he received a call from the Ashoknagar police station, who told him that all charges against him have been dropped. When TNM contacted Ashoknagar police station, the officials refused comment.