Arrested for Tweet on 'Hijab Ban' Case Judge, Kannada Actor to Be in Jail Till Friday

Chetan Kumar Ahimsa had tweeted on a judge's 2020 order in which he had observed that it was “unbecoming of an Indian woman” to “fall asleep” after she is “ravished”, granting advance bail to a rape accused.

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New Delhi: Kannada actor Chetan Kumar Ahimsa, who was arrested for posting a tweet on one of the Karnataka high court judges hearing the petitions against the hijab ban in classrooms, will remain in jail at least till Friday, February 25.

On Wednesday, February 23, a court reserved its order on his bail petition for February 25.

M.N. Anucheth, the Deputy Commissioner of Police of Bengaluru’s Central Division, said that Bengaluru City police registered a suo motu FIR on Tuesday, February 22, against Kumar’s tweet, under sections 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace).

Indian Express has reported that the actor is in judicial custody in the Parappana Agrahara jail, where he will spend his 39th birthday, on Thursday.

Although police have not mentioned which of Chetan’s tweets they have registered the FIR against, reports have said that it is a February 16 post in which the actor has noted that a judge in the ‘hijab ban’ case had allegedly made “disturbing comments” in an earlier rape case.

Chetan was referring to a 2020 order in which the judge had observed that it was “unbecoming of an Indian woman” to “fall asleep” after she is “ravished”, granting advance bail to a rape accused.

In the bail order, the judge expressed reservations about the genuineness of the complainant’s case while observing that her explanation that “after the perpetration of the act she was tired and fell asleep, is unbecoming of an Indian woman.”

“Now this same judge is determining whether hijabs are acceptable or not in government schools. Does he have the clarity required?” he tweeted.

The actor is a vocal activist for social causes and tweets often. He had recently tweeted in support of the massive rally in Bengaluru on February 19, demanding action against a Karnataka district judge who had allegedly ordered the removal of B.R. Ambedkar’s portrait.

Following his arrest, several have tweeted in support of the actor, some observing that the tweet did not contain material to incite anyone.