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Poet, Scribe Held for Recital of 'Anti-CAA' Poem in Karnataka's Koppal District Released on Bail

Women participate in a protest against the new citizenship law.

Women participate in a protest against the new citizenship law.

The arrests were made based on a complaint from a BJP functionary alleging that the poet had recited an anti-CAA poem in Gangavathi town of Koppal district in January and the editor of an online news portal, uploaded it on the social media.

Bengaluru: A poet and a journalist have been arrested in connection with the recital of a poem against the CAA and NRC at a government-sponsored function in Koppal district of Karnataka last month, police said. Later, the Judicial Magistrate of Gangavathi in Koppal district granted them bail.

The arrests were made based on a complaint from a BJP functionary alleging that Siraj Bisaralli, the poet, had recited an anti-CAA poem at 'Anegundi Utsava' in Gangavathi town of Koppal district in January and Rajabaxi, editor of an online news portal, uploaded it on the social media.

Police had registered a case against them under section 505 of IPC (statements conducing to public mischief).

On Tuesday, Bisaralli and Rajabaxi surrendered before a court in that district, which rejected their bail plea and remanded them in police custody for investigation into the matter.

"Siraj had recited the poem and Rajabaxi had shared it on the social media. Based on a complaint by the BJP leader the case was registered under section 505 of the IPC. They went absconding after that and surrendered before the court on Tuesday," a police officer told PTI.

The duo sought an interim bail, which the public prosecutor objected to and sought police custody to conduct inquiry.

The court sent Bisaralli and Rajabaxi to police custody till Wednesday afternoon. "We may not seek further extension of their custody until some fresh evidences surface. We have seized their mobile phones to ascertain whom they had shared the details with," the police said.

The matter found an echo in the Karnataka Assembly when JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy raised the matter during debate on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

Reciting the entire poem in the House, Kumaraswamy sought to know what was wrong in that poem that the poet was booked and arrested.

first published:February 19, 2020, 22:41 IST