Chennai: In a bizarre move, the Chennai airport police booked a man under charges of sedition charges accusing him of receiving ‘anti-national’ messages on his phone.
On Saturday, Andhra resident Tadikala Akbar Saleem had come to the Chennai airport to receive his friend who was coming from the Gulf.
On arrival, Saleem’s friend was held at the airport by the air intelligence unit of the Customs department as he was in possession of more than the permissible limit of gold.
In the process, the airport intelligence unit also questioned Saleem and checked his phone.
The intelligence officers found an audio message in Saleem'sphone in which an appeal was made to the Muslim community to gather at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for a “show of strength”.
As reported by the Indian Express, the appeal was made in the name of “Maulana (Syed) Arshad Madani saheb” of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, a leading Muslim organisation, and had originated in Malaysia.
The intelligence unit found this message ‘anti-national’ in nature even when there were no dates set for the proposed call to assemble, nor was there any call for violence.
The intelligence officers took Saleem in their custody and referred the matter to the airport police on Sunday. The police arrested him on sedition charges.
However, on Monday, 36-year-old Saleem was released by the magistrate after the recording of his statement.
The magistrate didn’t find any material evidence to prove the anti-national activity in that random WhatsApp message found in his phone.
Saleem has now returned back to his village in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadappa.