Two arrested in Hyderabad for not standing up for national anthem

The ruling has resulted in a series of violent incidents against individuals incapable of standing such as disabled rights activist Salil Chaturvedi who was attacked from behind in a Panjim theatre.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 17, 2017 11:44 am
National anthem, national anthem in theatre, elderly woman, old woman harassed, Chennai International Film Festival, elderly woman harassed, national anthem harassment, India news, Indian EXPRESS The incident, which happened on Saturday, saw police being called in to the theater in Kachiguda area after a journalist complained that two moviegoers, Syed Safeer Hussaini and Mohammed Ilyas, allegedly refused to stand up for the national anthem. (AP Photo)

Two persons were arrested in Hyderabad for failing to stand up for the national anthem inside an INOX theater, The Times of India reported. The incident, which happened on Saturday, saw police being called in to the theater in Kachiguda area after a journalist complained that two moviegoers, Syed Safeer Hussain and Mohammed Ilyas, allegedly refused to stand up for the national anthem. The police arrived in the middle of the film and took Hussaini and Ilyas to the police station. The journalist was identified as A. Sampath, who said he informed the police out of “personal interest” and as “a citizen”, according to Huffington Post.

Hussaini told Scroll.in that the police were reluctant to show the duo under which section they had been booked in the FIR. They were also not allowed to call their families and were instructed to switch their mobile phones off. They were booked under Section 3 of Prevention of Insult to National Honours Act, 1971, which deals with intentionally preventing the singing of the national anthem or disrupting someone engaged in singing it. It carries a sentence of up to 3 years in jail and/or fine.

According to the report, 30-year-old Hussaini had been working in Australia for several years and had temporarily come to India for his wedding and was scheduled to head back soon after. “I had sprained my leg climbing the stairs,” Hussaini told Scroll.in. “Though I was about to stand during the national anthem, I heard someone behind me shouting, ‘arrey… arrey’. When I heard him shout, I was really annoyed and didn’t stand.” The police finally called his brother, a lawyer, and “threatened him, saying I had committed a very big crime, as if I murdered someone”, he said. The men were finally released on bail that night after being detained in the police station for 4 hours.

The whole incident has reportedly worried Hussaini’s family if the police case would end up upsetting his return to Australia and work. “I just want to know this – if it is punishable to not stand up during the national anthem, then shouting during the national anthem should also be a crime, right? I too can file a case against him”, Hussaini told Scroll.in.

The complainant, A Sampath, told Scroll.in that a disappointing past experience guided his actions in filing the police complaint over call against the two men. “Earlier, I was watching another movie, Dwaraka, when I saw a couple, one of whom did not stand for the national anthem,” he said. “I felt bad then. And when I came for this movie and I saw the same situation being repeated, I felt really annoyed … One person [Ilyas] stood on my insistence but the other person [Hussaini] forced him to sit down and was chatting on his mobile.” He also felt that the ‘law’ against not standing needs to be made more stringent and implemented more strictly.

The arrest followed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s November 30 ruling that made it mandatory for all cinema halls to play the national anthem prior to all movie screenings and for all in the audience to stand for that duration.

The ruling has resulted in a series of violent incidents against individuals incapable of standing such as disabled rights activist Salil Chaturvedi who was attacked from behind in a Panjim theatre. There was the confusion regarding whether or not people were required to stand up for the national anthem when it was played in a movie scene. It has also raised the question of forcing foreigners or arraigning non-resident Indians (as in this case) for a rule that they are not familiar with.

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  1. A
    Anwer
    Mar 17, 2017 at 4:37 am
    I ask everyone, if they are alone at home and no body watching and in between movie national anthem start will you standup , fast forward or sit and listen. Can anybody say actually know meaning of National Anthem including the implementor of this rule
    Reply
    1. B
      Balaji
      Mar 17, 2017 at 5:12 am
      Finally we are in Swaraj country they shouldn't be punished instead make them sing in open public
      Reply
      1. S
        SrinivasaRao injam
        Mar 17, 2017 at 4:27 am
        Its very good dicesion 🇳🇪🇳🇪🇳🇪
        Reply
        1. M
          Murderous_VACCINEs
          Mar 16, 2017 at 5:35 pm
          Patriotic Brahminism!
          Reply
          1. G
            Gopinath
            Mar 17, 2017 at 2:49 am
            When you can walk up and come to the movie hall you can as well standup. Disrespecting the national anthem should be made a non bailable offense.
            Reply
            1. I
              IslamForFoools
              Mar 16, 2017 at 7:46 pm
              Arrest not enough, Hindus around them should have beaten them until they die
              Reply
              1. I
                IslamForFoools
                Mar 16, 2017 at 11:44 pm
                India is Hindu. Fck Islam fck Christianity. No abrahamic religions should tolerated. Other religions are ours, Hindu, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism,
                Reply
                1. I
                  IslamForFoools
                  Mar 16, 2017 at 11:46 pm
                  When you musselman wants to take advantage, you often say India is country of many religions, but when some responsibility towards country comes you conveniently say ohh, our Islam does not allow that. Your double Islamic game is very well know and will not be tolerated by Hindus or this nation anymore. My comments are most honest and wiser than any person here. I do not like to be politically correct, that's just cowardness.
                  Reply
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