A 36-year-old man was booked and arrested on the charges of sedition from the Chennai international airport where he had come to receive a friend who was coming from Gulf. The man was taken into custody for an ‘anti-national message’ that he had received on his mobile phone through WhatsApp.
Tadikala Akbar Saleem who is resident of Andhra Pradesh was taken into the custody by the air intelligence unit of the Customs department and his friend who had come from Gulf was nabbed for carrying excessive gold. The incident took place on Saturday, and is learnt that the air intelligence have referred the case to Chennai airport police on Sunday.
The officer said that during the interrogation, the air intelligence personnel examined Saleem’s cellphone which had an audio message. When the content of the message turned out to be ‘anti-national’, they gave the case to the airport police. The police filed an FIR under Section 124 (A) of the IPC and on Monday he appeared before magistrate.
As per a report in the Indian Express, the officer said, “His statement was taken and Saleem was released. The magistrate said there was no material evidence to prove an anti-national activity in that random WhatsApp message. Also, there was no call for violence”.
The alleged anti-national message had an appeal for Muslims to gather at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi as a “show of strength”. The air intelligence officials prepared the transcript of the message which was shared with the Chennai airport police. The message did not have any particular date to gather and neither it called for any violence.