A 21-year-old law student from Hyderabad was taken into police custody and interrogated for nearly 17 hours for sharing a Facebook post against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The post was related to the Padmavati controversy.
The student, identified as Arif Muhammed, a fourth-year-law student and resident of Banjara Hills, was picked up by mufti policemen while he was attending a function at Gudimalkapur in Mehdipatnam, reported Times of India.
The ‘crime’ Arif committed was sharing an article by Catch News (the article is no longer available on the website), which was about popular online figure Ram Subramaniam’s Facebook post declaring a Rs 1 lakh reward for anyone who would hurl chappal or a shoe at the Prime Minister.
Ram Subramaniam, a filmmaker and advertising professional, known for his online efforts to spread peace between India and Pakistan through videos, shot the famous video of a Kargil Martyr’s daughter Gurmehar Kaur, asking for peace, which later ended in a huge controversy.
Explaining the reason later, as to why he had to write such crass statements, he wrote on 25 November. “Dear all, Thank you for the support. Thank you to those who publicly supported me. Thank you to those who let me know in private… you are both very important to me.
Since I made the offer of one lakh rupees to throw a chappal at PM Modi, it broke a wall of fear within some people who saw the message. I wish I didn’t have to do it, I don’t like speaking in a language this crass, but unfortunately, some ‘leaders’ see politeness as weakness and niceness as a cue to ignore the message. I don’t intend to play nice all the time anymore.
Since I posted the offer, some more people have stepped forward and posted their own offers; rewards to those who will throw chappals at PM Modi (none of it is covered by mass media as expected).”
Arif Muhammed tells TOI I was interrogated through the night, and I explained to police that I had only shared an article posted on a website. They wanted to know if I had written the article, and I clarified to them that I did not.
Arif said that he didn’t know that the people who picked him up were police. After hours of interrogation, he was let off at Gachibowli police station.