Tension prevailed in Gajwel town of Telangana’s Siddipet district on Monday night, when a group of right-wing activists thrashed and paraded him half-naked on the streets for allegedly urinating near the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj under the influence of alcohol.
Gajwel Assistant Commissioner of Police M Ramesh told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that the man, identified as a local Muslim, had been arrested for desecrating the statue of Shivaji and remanded to 14-day judicial custody.
“We have booked a case under Section 295-A (hurting the religious sentiments and beliefs of other communities),” he said.
The ACP also said two other people were also arrested in connection with the clashes that erupted between two groups following the incident. Cases were booked against the two persons under similar sections and they, too, were remanded to judicial custody.
“The situation is absolutely under control and peaceful. We have stepped up security in the area to prevent any further untoward incidents,” Ramesh said.
Gajwel is the home constituency of Bharat Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Following a call given by the Hindu organisations, a shutdown was observed in Gajwel town on Tuesday. “It was only partial and there was no disruption to normal life,” the ACP said.
Videos of some activists of Hindu outfits parading the man half-naked on the streets while raising slogans “Jai Shri Ram”, “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, and “Chatrapati Shivaji ki jai,” went viral on social media. The protestors made the man clean the area in front of the Shivaji statue where he had allegedly urinated.
Majlis-Bachao-Tehreek convenor Mohd Amanullah Khan, who posted the video clips on Twitter, alleged that the man was paraded naked, forced to chant Jai Shree Ram and lick the footpath full of urine.
“All this happened in @TelanganaCMO Constituency and @gajwel_ps was a mute spectator, Req @TelanganaDGP & @siddipetcp to inquire into this incident ensure fool proof security to Muslim ..,” he tweeted and demanded strict action against anti-social elements for taking law into their own hands.
As the visuals went viral, Muslims from the surrounding areas gathered at the spot and protested against the attack on the accused. This led to stone pelting between the two groups leading to injuries to one person. But the police quickly intervened and brought the situation under control.
Siddipet police commissioner N Swetha, who rushed to the spot along with senior officials, spoke to both the warring groups. “We shall take stringent action against those who were behind the incident and also those who were involved in the clashes,” she said.