Case booked, protest staged over Mutavalli's statement

Case booked, protest staged over Mutavalli's statement

A case against Mutavalli Abdul Hameed Khairati has been registered with the Town Police Station, after a video clipping of his speech during Eid-Milad function in which he likened Ganeshpet in Hubballi with Pakistan went viral on social networks.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (North) H G Dawoodkhan, who was also present at the function held on Saturday, filed a suo-motu case against Mr Khairati.

"The case has been registered under IPC Section 153A, which includes promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. All the information available in this regard will be collected and investigation will be held accordingly. Later, suitable action will be taken," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Renuka Sukumar said.

'Arrest Mutavalli, ACP'

Demanding the arrest of Mutavalli Abdul Hameed Khairati for likening Ganeshpet in Hubballi with Pakistan during his Eid-Milad speech, and ACP (North) H G Dawoodkhan for not objecting to this though he was present there, BJP, ABVP and VHP workers staged a protest in front of the Sub-urban Police Station here on Monday.

Raising slogans against Mr Khairati and Mr Dawoodkhan, the BJP workers called them as 'Pakistan agents'. Some protesters tried to stage rasta roko and burn a tyre, but police stopped them.

Later, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the police commissioner, seeking action against Mr Khairati and Mr Dawoodkhan.

"Mr Khairati and Mr Dawoodkhan should be arrested within three days, on charges of issuing and supporting anti-national statement," BJP City district unit president Nagesh Kalburgi said. Jayateerth Katti, Mahendra Kautal, Santosh Chavan, and others led the protest. Heavy police bundobust was also arranged there.

Later, Police Commissioner M N Nagaraj stated that a team led by DCP (Law & Order) Renuka Sukumar would conduct the inquiry into the case, and the police have taken it very seriously.

MP, MLA react

Meanwhile,  MP Pralhad Joshi and MLA Aravind Bellad have asked police authorities  to arrest Abdul Hamid Khairati, and to suspend ACP  Dawoodkhan from service.

"ACP Dawoodkhan should have to objected Mr Khairati immediately after his anti-national statement. He would have arrested him on the spot, but he neglected the issue," Mr Joshi said.

Mr Bellad said, "the case filed against Mr Khairati on charges of provocation to disturb peace is just an eye-wash technique".

When asked about a BJP worker in Bagalkot announcing Rs 10 lakh reward on Mr Khairati's head, Mr Bellad said, it is not correct to say so, but he might have said so thinking that the State Government may not take any action.

Mutavalli apologises

Meanwhile, Ganeshpet Badi Masjid Mutavalli Abdul Hamid Khairati has apologised for his controversial statement.

"I wanted to say that Muslims should see that Eid Miladunnabi at Ganeshpet is celebrated with more grandeur and enthusiasm than in Pakistan. But, I am aged (75 years) and by mistake I stated that there is no need to go to Pakistan to see it, as Ganeshpet itself looks like Pakistan for me," he said in a press release.

I am working for harmony, unity, and integrity in the country. I am an Indian citizen, I respect the Indian Constitution, and I am against Pakistan, he added.

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