Actor held for comments on HC judge: Police called for deporting Kumar earlier, letter shows

Published on Mar 03, 2022 12:59 AM IST

Kumar was arrested last Tuesday for his alleged derogatory comments on a Karnataka high court judge and later released on bail after two days of judicial custody.

On August 7, 2021, Bengaluru police had sent a letter to Karnataka DG & IGP Praveen Sood and Karnataka chief secretary P Ravi Kumar, recommending the actor’s deportation. (Agencies/Representative use)
On August 7, 2021, Bengaluru police had sent a letter to Karnataka DG & IGP Praveen Sood and Karnataka chief secretary P Ravi Kumar, recommending the actor’s deportation. (Agencies/Representative use)
By, Bengaluru

A Karnataka police letter dated last year has come to light with the arrest of activist Chetan Kumar, which recommended his deportation back to the United States over his earlier provocative statements, an official said on Wednesday.

Kumar was arrested last Tuesday for his alleged derogatory comments on a Karnataka high court judge and later released on bail after two days of judicial custody.

On August 7, 2021, Bengaluru police had sent a letter to Karnataka DG & IGP Praveen Sood and Karnataka chief secretary P Ravi Kumar, recommending the actor’s deportation. According to the letter, the actor, an American passport holder, is known for making provocative statements.

According to the officer, the letter was prepared based on a case lodged in Basavanagudi police station against the actor for making derogatory comments against Brahminism. The actor, on July 21, had tweeted: “Brahminism is the negation of the spirit of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. We must uproot Brahminism- #Ambedkar. ‘While all are born as equals, to say that Brahmins alone are highest and all others are low as untouchables is sheer nonsense. It is a big hoax’ - #Periyar”.

In one of his videos, he also said that Brahminism has killed the ideas of Basava and Buddha, and that Buddha had fought against Brahminism, in one of his videos.

Bengaluru city police last Tuesday arrested Kumar over a Facebook post on a Karnataka high court judge. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) MN Anuchet told media that a suo moto FIR was registered on Tuesday with Sheshadripuram, and based on the FIR, the actor has been arrested.

Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant on February 2 said the actor has been booked under Section 505 (2) (Intent to incite a class or community to commit an offence against another class or community) and Section 504 (Intentionally insulting, thereby giving provocation to any person to break public peace) of the Indian Penal Code.

The arrest was a result of a post by the actor on February 16 that questioned the credentials of Justice Krishna Dixit, who is part of the bench hearing the hijab controversy. In a tweet, referring to a 2020 case where the judge gave bail to a rape accused, noting that the complainant explained that she was tired and had fallen asleep after the sexual assault, the actor questioned the judge.

In his judgement justice, Dixit had mentioned that the victim’s actions were “unbecoming of an Indian woman; that is not the way our women react when they are ravished.”

“…Justice Krishna Dixit made such disturbing comments in a rape case. Now, this same judge is determining whether #hijabs are acceptable or not in govt schools. Does he have the clarity required?” the actor had tweeted.

He was granted bail on Friday, and the bail order restricted him from making further comments. “The accused shall not commit an offence similar to the offence of which he is accused. He shall not make, publish, post, or circulate any derogatory/provocative statements in any manner to disturb communal harmony and public peace,” read the bail order.

The actor posted on social media for the first time since he got out of jail on Friday. “I won’t stop tweeting. I will continue to question him,” Chetan Kumar wrote on Facebook.

Born and raised in the United States, Chetan is a familiar face in movements for the welfare of farmers, workers, Dalits and Adivasis. He was associated with movements for the rehabilitation of endosulfan victims (2013), securing homes for tribals evicted from Kodagu (2016) and, more recently, for a separate religious status for Lingayats.

Prior to this, Chetan made his debut in the cinema with Aa Dinagalu (2007), a movie that revolved around Bengaluru’s underworld during the 1980s. He has acted nine film since, out which three are yet to be released.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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