A Muslim cleric in Karnataka was arrested and sent to 14-day judicial custody for comparing 'Ganesh Peth', his neighbourhood in Hubballi district, to Pakistan in a video, which had gone viral,reported India Today.
At an Eid-Milad event, Abdul Hameed Khairati was filmed saying that this neighbourhood - Ganesh Peth - looked like Pakistan, reported The Time of India.
"Ganesh Peth is looking like Pakistan. Those who cannot go to Pakistan can see it in Ganesh Peth," he said in the video.
The ToI report added that after the video went viral, several groups demanded action against Khairati. Before arresting him, the police filed a case against Khairati under IPC section 153(A) [Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony].
In an apology, Khairati said: "I wanted to say that the Muslim community in Ganesh Peth celebrates Milad un-Nabi more enthusiastically than Pakistan, but wrongly made the statement likening Ganesh Peth to Pakistan. I have realised my mistake only after viewing the video footage and I immediately tendered an apology for giving such statement. I have committed this mistake. I apologise for this mistake.”
Earlier, tension prevailed when activists from the BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal protested in front of the sub-urban police station in Hubballi, shouting slogans against the Moulvi and ACP, accusing them of trying to disturb the communal fabric of the society.
The protesters alleged that Khairati's statement was anti-national, provocative, provoked communal feelings and an act of sedition.