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Who is lobbying to get activist actor Chetan Kumar deported to the US?

The actor-activist is currently out on bail, and the right-wing has been lobbying hard for at least a year to have him deported

Sabrangindia 01 Mar 2022

Chetan Kumar

Shocked and perhaps disappointed that activist and Kannada actor Chetan Kumar, aka Chetan Ahimsa was granted bail by a Bengaluru Court on Friday after his arrest for allegedly making controversial remarks against the judge hearing the hijab ban case, the right-wing has been in an overdrive spreading fake news of his possible deportation to the United States.

What first began as wishful thinking, quickly turned into calls for his deportation on social media and the fake news even trickled into news media studios, some of whom were only happy to spread the word. But why is the right-wing so obsessed with the idea of Chetan Kumar's deportation?

In 2021, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member Girish Bharadwaj had sought that Chetan Kumar be deported for making alleged “anti-Brahminism statements”. Bharadwaj, according to an India Today report from then, had complained to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Bengaluru asking that Kumar, an American citizen, “should be deported to the United States”.

The Bengaluru city police had lodged two FIRs against Kumar for allegedly 'hurting religious beliefs’, reportedly based on complaints by Sachidananda Murthy, chairman Brahmin Development Board, and an organisation called Vipra Yuva Vedike. On June 6, 2021, Kumar had reportedly tweeted, "Brahminism is negation of the spirit of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity...we must uproot Brahminism— #Ambedkar. 'While all are born as equals, to say that Brahmins alone are highest and all others are low as Untouchables is sheer nonsense. It is a big hoax’ — #Periyar." Sachidananda Murthy claimed Kumar “defamed the community by using derogatory words.”

Girish Bharadwaj of VHP had claimed “Chetan is a citizen of the United States and is residing in Bengaluru temporarily. He is raking communal caste sentiments and caste conflagration resulting in social disharmony in a country with a pluralistic ethos like India.” He told the media that the actor’s words were “a litany of falsehoods” and “an attack on the most peaceful and progressive community in India.” He then sought the FRRO to revoke Kumar’s Residential Permit under the Foreigner Act.

Now, according to The New Indian Express, documents dated August 2021, include “communication sent from Basavangudi Police Station to the Chief Secretary through the office of DGP. Police have prepared a deportation file on actor Chetan, who is an American citizenship holder, and is pending before the Home secretary for making “Provocative remarks’’. The letter has been signed by ADGP, Law and Order, Prathap Reddy."

However, as Karnataka based activists pointed out to SabrangIndia, the document mentioned in the news report is only about “seeking  procedural approval by the higher officer for filing a change sheet against Chetan in a case under 153b and 295a...and nothing is mentioned in there about deportation.”

According to legal portals, Section 153A mentions: The act of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste, community or any other group. Acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different groups or castes or communities, if the acts disturb public tranquillity. Acts causing fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity among members of any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community by use of criminal force or violence against them.

Section 295-A includes: Insult or attempt to insult the religion or religious beliefs of any class of citizens of India. The said insult must be with a deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of the said class of citizens. The said insult must be by words, either spoken or written, by signs or by visible representation or otherwise. The offence under Section 295-A is cognizable and a non-bailable and non-compoundable offence. The police have the power to arrest a person charged under Section 295-A without a warrant.

According to TNIE, no comments have been made yet by Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on the issue and ADGP Prathap Reddy said, “Unless I check the correspondence in detail, I will not be able to respond.” 

Meanwhile, Chetan Kumar, in a video purportedly recorded when he was released on bail, has said there was nothing wrong in the tweet he was arrested for, and that the fight against injustice will continue.

 

 

 

Related:

Hate Offender: Kali Swami, calls for 10 Muslim heads to avenge ‘one Hindu death’

Actor Activist Chetan Kumar gets bail

Karnataka: Chetan Kumar turns 39 behind bars, was jailed for asking a question

Who is lobbying to get activist actor Chetan Kumar deported to the US?

The actor-activist is currently out on bail, and the right-wing has been lobbying hard for at least a year to have him deported

Chetan Kumar

Shocked and perhaps disappointed that activist and Kannada actor Chetan Kumar, aka Chetan Ahimsa was granted bail by a Bengaluru Court on Friday after his arrest for allegedly making controversial remarks against the judge hearing the hijab ban case, the right-wing has been in an overdrive spreading fake news of his possible deportation to the United States.

What first began as wishful thinking, quickly turned into calls for his deportation on social media and the fake news even trickled into news media studios, some of whom were only happy to spread the word. But why is the right-wing so obsessed with the idea of Chetan Kumar's deportation?

In 2021, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member Girish Bharadwaj had sought that Chetan Kumar be deported for making alleged “anti-Brahminism statements”. Bharadwaj, according to an India Today report from then, had complained to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Bengaluru asking that Kumar, an American citizen, “should be deported to the United States”.

The Bengaluru city police had lodged two FIRs against Kumar for allegedly 'hurting religious beliefs’, reportedly based on complaints by Sachidananda Murthy, chairman Brahmin Development Board, and an organisation called Vipra Yuva Vedike. On June 6, 2021, Kumar had reportedly tweeted, "Brahminism is negation of the spirit of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity...we must uproot Brahminism— #Ambedkar. 'While all are born as equals, to say that Brahmins alone are highest and all others are low as Untouchables is sheer nonsense. It is a big hoax’ — #Periyar." Sachidananda Murthy claimed Kumar “defamed the community by using derogatory words.”

Girish Bharadwaj of VHP had claimed “Chetan is a citizen of the United States and is residing in Bengaluru temporarily. He is raking communal caste sentiments and caste conflagration resulting in social disharmony in a country with a pluralistic ethos like India.” He told the media that the actor’s words were “a litany of falsehoods” and “an attack on the most peaceful and progressive community in India.” He then sought the FRRO to revoke Kumar’s Residential Permit under the Foreigner Act.

Now, according to The New Indian Express, documents dated August 2021, include “communication sent from Basavangudi Police Station to the Chief Secretary through the office of DGP. Police have prepared a deportation file on actor Chetan, who is an American citizenship holder, and is pending before the Home secretary for making “Provocative remarks’’. The letter has been signed by ADGP, Law and Order, Prathap Reddy."

However, as Karnataka based activists pointed out to SabrangIndia, the document mentioned in the news report is only about “seeking  procedural approval by the higher officer for filing a change sheet against Chetan in a case under 153b and 295a...and nothing is mentioned in there about deportation.”

According to legal portals, Section 153A mentions: The act of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste, community or any other group. Acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different groups or castes or communities, if the acts disturb public tranquillity. Acts causing fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity among members of any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community by use of criminal force or violence against them.

Section 295-A includes: Insult or attempt to insult the religion or religious beliefs of any class of citizens of India. The said insult must be with a deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of the said class of citizens. The said insult must be by words, either spoken or written, by signs or by visible representation or otherwise. The offence under Section 295-A is cognizable and a non-bailable and non-compoundable offence. The police have the power to arrest a person charged under Section 295-A without a warrant.

According to TNIE, no comments have been made yet by Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on the issue and ADGP Prathap Reddy said, “Unless I check the correspondence in detail, I will not be able to respond.” 

Meanwhile, Chetan Kumar, in a video purportedly recorded when he was released on bail, has said there was nothing wrong in the tweet he was arrested for, and that the fight against injustice will continue.

 

 

 

Related:

Hate Offender: Kali Swami, calls for 10 Muslim heads to avenge ‘one Hindu death’

Actor Activist Chetan Kumar gets bail

Karnataka: Chetan Kumar turns 39 behind bars, was jailed for asking a question

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