After the High Court of Karnataka pulled up the city police for their inaction on a complaint, related to allegedly making “sacrilegious” remarks against Lord Venkateshwara’s nama (a sign on the forehead of the deity) by a person during a television debate in April, the Yeshwantpur police on Tuesday arrested T. Narasimha Murthy, an RTI activist, who had made such remarks.

The petitioner B.M. Suresh, a resident of Yeshwantpur, had moved the court alleging that the Yeshwantpur police neither arrested nor conducted an investigation despite a complaint lodged against Mr. Murthy on April 27, 2018 and a representation given to the city Police Commissioner.

The HC, in the morning session, warned the police for inaction and indicated that it would recommend the State to initiate action against the station house officer. The police, in the afternoon, informed the HC that the investigation had begun and the accused had been arrested. The petitioner said he was watching a debate on a private TV channel on April 27 at 7.30 p.m. and Mr. Murthy, one of the panellists, made “unwarranted and blasphemous remarks” hurting the petitioner’s religious beliefs and sentiments as he was a strong devotee of the deity. Though the petitioner immediately rushed to the police station and filed a complaint, the police accepted it reluctantly, he said.

As the petitioner was at the station, the police, who received information about people gathered in front of the TV channel’s office protesting the remark, rushed there. However, instead of taking action against the accused, the police “safely escorted him to his house,” the petitioner alleged.

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