UP Police arrest Muslim man for appealing to hoist Palestinian flag

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh Police have arrested a man from Sarai Mir town in Azamgarh for asking people to put Palestinian flag atop their house and their car to express their solidarity with people of Gaza.

The man identified as Yasir Akhtar made an appeal on his Facebook page ‘Azamgarh Express’. He put up a post with the Palestinian flag and asked community members to display the flag atop their houses and on their vehicles after ‘Juma namaz‘. However, his family said that he had intended for the post to address people in Gaza, not Azamgarh.

Sarai Mir Station House Officer (SHO), Anil Singh, said that the youth was arrested on Thursday and booked under Section 505 (2) (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Yasir’s brother Muhammad Shadab told Al Jazeera that his brother had copied the solidarity message on his Facebook page.

“He had corrected himself in a second post that it was not meant for people in India, but that he had copied (the message)… It was in Gaza where people were asked to hoist the flags,” he said.

He further maintained that if Muslims anywhere are suffering, it is not wrong to support them and speak against injustice.

Talha Ahmad Rashadi, a lawyer based in Azamgarh, said that charges are not very severe and he can be bailed out.  ”Palestine is a friendly nation to India and we have officially supported the Palestinian cause. This case won’t stand anywhere in the court of law,” he added

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