The Mangaluru City police arrested the man who had allegedly demanded ‘encounter’ of former Union Minister Janardhan Poojary in an audio clip back in December 2018. The accused, Hakeem Puttur, is a native of Puttur in Dakshina Kannada. He is employed in Dubai and was nabbed on Tuesday morning, when he landed at Mangaluru International Airport.
The controversial audio clip, allegedly containing Hakeem’s voice, went viral in December last year, after Janardhan Poojary supported the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya at an event in Kudroli Temple. Poojary had said, "Magnificent Ram Mandir will be constructed in Ayodhya. There is no need to have a doubt in this regard. No one, regardless of political party or religious affiliation, will object to the construction of Ram Mandir. Even Muslims and Christians are in favour of building the Ram Mandir. So, the building of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is 100% sure.”
Poojary’s statements had triggered controversy with some had lauding him and others expressing resentment.
Upset with Poojary’s comments, Hakeem had shared the clip in a WhatsApp group, from where it went viral. “All those people who give statements like 'we will build Ram Mandir at any cost', even when the case is at the Supreme Court, should be encountered and killed,” the audio clip said. He also urged the Muslim community to not support Congress until the veteran leader was suspended. He believed that Poojary has been identified with RSS leaders.
Mangalore (South) legislator JR Lobo had filed a police complaint over the voice message and sought a detailed probe. The cybercrime police had traced the clip to Hakeem Puttur within a week after it went viral. The Kavoor police had booked a case against Hakeem under IPC 504 (intentionally trying to provoke breach of the peace) and IPC 507 (criminal intimidation) in December 2018.
However, at the time Hakeem was working in Dubai. The police had been awaiting his arrival to India since then. The court has remanded Hakeem to judicial custody.
(Story by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP.)