A 21-year-old law student from Hyderabad was taken into police custody and interrogated for nearly 17 hours for sharing a Facebook post against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The post was related to the Padmavati controversy.
The student, identified as Arif Muhammed, a fourth-year-law student and resident of Banjara Hills, was picked up by mufti policemen while he was attending a function at Gudimalkapur in Mehdipatnam, reported Times of India.
The ‘crime’ Arif committed was sharing an article by Catch News, which was about popular online figure Ram Subramaniam’s Facebook post declaring a Rs 1 lakh reward for anyone who would hurl chappal or a shoe at the Prime Minister.
The post was in response to the bounty offered by several fringe groups and BJP leaders, some of who declared that they would behead actor Deepika Padukone and Director Sanjay Leela Bhasali for making a film which ‘distorted’ the history of Padmavati.
TOI quoted Arif as saying, “I was interrogated through the night and I explained to police that I had only shared an article posted on a website. They wanted to know if I had written the article and I clarified to them that I did not.”
Arif said that he didn’t know that the persons who picked him up were police. After hours of interrogation, he was let off at Gachibowli police station.
Ram Subramaniam, a film maker and advertising professional known for his online efforts to spread peace between India and Pakistan through videos, shot the famous video of a Kargil Martyr’s daughter Gurmehar Kaur, asking for peace, which later ended up in a huge controversy.
He runs a Facebook page called Voice of Ram.
Explaining the reason later, as to why he had to write such crass statements, he wrote on November 25.“Dear all,Thank you for the support. Thank you for those who publicly support me. Thank you to those who let me know in private... you are both very important to me. Since I made the offer of 1 lakhs rupees to throw a chappal at PM Modi it broke a wall of fear within some people who saw the message. I wish I didn't have to do it, I don't like speaking in a language this crass but unfortunately some 'leaders' see politeness as weakness and niceness as a cue to ignore the message. I don’t intend to play nice all the time, anymore. Since I posted the offer, some more people have stepped forward and posted their own offers; rewards to those who will throw chappals at PM Modi (none of it is covered by mass media as expected).”