Scribe held, released for hate speech

A journalist with a Kannada daily has been arrested, by the Gonikoppa police, from Madhugiri in Tumakuru district on Monday night for allegedly making an inflammatory speech against Islam and Tipu Jayanti celebrations.

Santosh Thammaiah, a native of Mugutageri near Ponnampete and a reporter with Hosa Diganta, was granted bail by a local court.

He is said to have made derogatory remarks on Islam during a symposium on Tipu Karaala Mukagala Anavarana, organised by Prajna Kaveri Sangha at Gonikoppa on November 5.

Based on the complaint lodged by K J Oscar of Karadigodu, Thammaiah was arrested under IPC Section 295(A) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings).

Police said, “At the outset, it was found that Thammaiah had hurt the sentiments of people of a particular religion.”

Sudhakar Hosalli of Mysuru, Robert Rosario of Mangaluru, theatre artiste Addanda Cariappa, writer Bacharaniyanda Appanna who had taken part in the seminar, were also booked under relevant laws. 

Following the incident, several Muslim organisations had staged a protest against Thmmaiah for insulting the religion. Muslim organisations had said “Muslims had not appealed to the state government to observe Tipu Jayanti. It was the government that had taken an initiative to observe Tipu Jayanti. In the name of opposing Tipu Jayanti, several organisations are engaged in speaking ill of Islam.”

Meanwhile, Vishwa Hindu Parishat on Tuesday staged a massive protest in Gonikoppa, condemning the arrest of the journalist.

The Opposition BJP has called journalist Santosh Thammaiah’s arrest a “cowardly act” of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.

“By curtailing freedom of speech and expression, the Congress-JD(S) coalition has proved that it has no hesitation to adopt undemocratic means and deliver a sledge hammer blow on freedom of the media,” the BJP said in a statement.

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Scribe held, released for hate speech

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