Hindu leader sent to police custody in Andhra

Hyderabad, Jan 16 (IANS) A city court Wednesday refused to grant bail to Hindu religious leader Swami Kamlananda Bharati and sent him to police custody for two days for making a hate speech.

A magistrate at the Nampally criminal court dismissed Bharati's bail petition and remanded him to police custody.

Police arrested him in Srisailam and brought him to Hyderabad Monday. The same day he was sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of police would question the religious leader from Thursday regarding a speech he delivered in a public rally here Jan 9.

The rally was organised by Hindu groups to condemn Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi's hate speech.

Some organisations and individuals lodged complaints with three police stations that Bharati made remarks which hurt the sentiments of Muslims.

Police booked a case against him for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.

Bharai is the president of Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi, which works to protect Hindu temples.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some other groups have condemned his arrest and staged protests against the state government.

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