Derogatory Post on Facebook against Saudi Prince and Mecca – Harish Bangera to reach India on Aug 18 – Shobha Karandlaje
Udupi: Harish Bangera, a resident of Koteshwar in Udupi district is set to be released from Saudi prison where he has been languishing since December 2019, after being arrested over blasphemy charges. Harish will arrive at the Bengaluru International Airport on August 18.
According to the press release by Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje’s office, the Indian Embassy of Saudi Arabia informed minister Karandlaje that all the formalities have been completed to send Harish Bangera to India. He will be leaving from Dammam Airport on August 17 and reaching Bengaluru International Airport on August 18.
Harish Bangera 33, a native of Kundapur was working as an AC mechanic in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, he was arrested by the Saudi authorities for his alleged social media comments on Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Mecca. He had allegedly commented on December 19 and was arrested the next day by the Saudi officials. The company he was working for had terminated his services after his post drew criticism across the world.
Two persons from Moodbidri were arrested in October 2020 for impersonating Harish Bangera and posting derogatory and blasphemous content on Facebook.
According to the reports, two brothers from Moodbidri – Abdul Huyez and Abdul Thuyez had created a fake account on Facebook in the name of Harish Bangera to post derogatory comments against the Saudi Crown Prince and Mecca, the holy site for Muslims across the world. Bangera was arrested by the Saudi Arabia police in December 2019, for derogatory and blasphemous content.
Harish’s wife had filed a complaint at the Udupi police station after Harish claimed innocence and alleged conspiracy against him.
Upon investigation, the police found out that the two brothers Abdul Huyez and Abdul Thuyez had created a fake account in 2019 December, and two days later, had uploaded the blasphemous post in the name of Harish Bangera, leading to his arrest. The police traced the phone that was used to create the fake Facebook account. The phone belonging to Abdul Thuyez, who was taken into custody along with his brother.
The Karnataka police also translated and presented the charge sheet to the Saudi authorities through the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia to obtain a release order for Harish Bangera.
Many Social and Political activists including Harish’s family friend Lokesh Ankadakatte, Social Activist Dr Ravindranath Shanbaug, Union minister Shobha Karandlaje, former Minister K Jayaprakash Hegde, Kundapur MLA Haladi Srinivas Shetty, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamalpanth and others have worked for the release of Harish Bangera from the Saudi Prison.