A 33-year-old man has been arrested and sent to judicial custody in Gadag district for creating and circulating a fake photo depicting Muslim flags flying over the newly inaugurated Ram Temple in Ayodhya, police said on Monday.
The arrest comes after the controversial image surfaced on social media, triggering outrage and sparking protests from organisations.
The arrested Muslim youth, identified as Tajuddin Dafedar, allegedly manipulated an image to depict Muslim flags over the temple. Pro-Hindu groups brought this matter to the attention of the police, and staged a protest in front of the police station on Sunday, demanding arrest of the accused.
“Soon after receiving the complaint, we arrested the accused identified as Tajuddin Dafedar,” said Somana Gowda, inspector at Gajendragad police station. “We have booked him under IPC sections 295A (malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) and 153A (promoting enmity between groups). We produced him before the JMFC court, which remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days.”
The Gajendragad police subsequently deleted the offending post. A screenshot of the manipulated image circulated widely on social media, leading to tensions. Pro-Hindu organisations have called for legal action against the individual responsible for creating and sharing the fake photo.
The police department has assured a thorough investigation into the matter.
In another incident, on the occasion of the inauguration of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, worship and homa (a ritual in offerings are made to fire) were performed in a mosque in Hunsikatti village in Gadag district. Hindu and Muslim leaders of the village in Naragunda taluk collaborated to complete the programme, people aware of the matter said.
They conducted Rudrabhishekam and adorned the image of Bharat Mata. Puja was offered to the photo of Bharat Mata in the presence of Aali God, who is worshipped during the month of Ramzan. Villagers, including mosque committee members, participated in the programme.