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jailed for a poster
councillor Asif Muhammad Khan was refused bail by a Delhi court on 4
October. He was arrested by the Delhi police on 28 September after
allegedly putting up posters ‘supporting Osama Bin Laden’ and
questioning government’s assurance of help to the US.
Khan was taken into custody on charges of ‘promoting communal hatred’
by pasting ‘provocative posters at public places.’
The posters had come up in Zakir Nagar, Batla House and Okhla areas of
South Delhi. According to Joint Commissioner of Police Amodh Kant, the
councillor had also tried to create trouble before the arrest of SIMI
activists at their office in Zakir Nagar area. The police official was
apparently referring to a public rally held by Khan a day before his
arrest where he had vowed to resist the ban on SIMI.
Khan was remanded to police custody for 14 days by the Metropolitan
Magistrate Vinod Kumar, who rejected his bail application saying it was
unfortunate that a people’s representative who has taken oath to a
secular constitution, should indulge in making posters ‘declaring war
against Christianity’ [the posters do not contain such matter].
Legal experts say that the arrest of the fiery councillor from Okhla was
ill-conceived as there was nothing against anyone in his posters. The
poster was not in favour of Osama Bin Laden and it was not against either
the government or Christianity. What it attempted was a comparison between
contradictory US actions in the case of Iraq and other countries. q