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Karnataka Journalist Arrested for Hate Speech Against Tipu Jayanti Released on Bail, BJP Demands Quashing of FIR

A local newspaper had published a report quoting his speech made at a protest against Tipu Jayanti at Gonikoppal in Kodagu district on November 9, based on which the arrest was made.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:November 13, 2018, 10:02 PM IST
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Karnataka Journalist Arrested for Hate Speech Against Tipu Jayanti Released on Bail, BJP Demands Quashing of FIR
BJP leaders and workers raise slogans as they oppose the celebration of 'Tipu Jayanti', in Bengaluru on Friday. (PTI)

Bengaluru: A journalist working with a local daily who was arrested on Monday for his remarks on Tipu Jayanti has been released on bail.

"Santhosh Thammaiah was arrested for making hate speech against Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w) and Tipu Sultan," the police said. He has been charged with section 259A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) of the IPC.

A local newspaper had published a report quoting his speech made at a protest against Tipu Jayanti at Gonikoppal in Kodagu district on November 9, based on which the arrest was made.

Santhosh, who works with Hosa Digantha, was arrested from Tumkur. He was produced in the court on Tuesday and released on conditional bail.

The BJP called the arrest a ‘cowardly act on the part of the JDS-Congress coalition’ and threatened to launch a state wide protest if the FIR against him was not quashed.

The arrest comes days after the government celebrated Tipu Jayanthi on November 10 amidst strong opposition from the BJP. Chief minister Kumaraswamy gave the celebrations a miss. He was opposed to celebrating Tipu Jayanthi during the previous government, but toed the line of his coalition partner Congress this time.

Following this, former chief minister Siddaramaiah tweeted, "for the public, sometimes one needs to compromise, I could have done too. But I can not compromise on the fundamental doctrine of secularism. Power will come and go. I don't care (sic)".

Tipu Jayanthi celebrations had triggered violent protests in different parts of the state in the previous years. Two people were killed in Madikeri in 2015. Consequently, this year, the state government allowed only indoor celebrations, banning processions any kind of processions.

Calling Tipu a "religious bigot", the state BJP unit this year had urged the state government to drop its decision to celebrate the Jayanti.

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