A case under the National Security Act has been filed against a Samajwadi Party leader, who was arrested in the matter involving an assault on an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad. Umaid Pehelwan Idrisi was arrested earlier this month by the Uttar Pradesh police, who said he had given religious colour to the attack on Abdul Samad with a live interview of the man on Facebook.
On June 5, a group of men had abducted Abdul Samad from Loni and threatened him with a knife. Accusing him of being a Pakistani spy, one of them had hacked off his beard while allegedly chanting "Jai Shri Ram".
The police, who made several arrests over the attack, ruled out any communal angle, and said the assailants were a mix of Hindus and Muslims and they targeted him over some fake amulets he had sold them. The man's family has denied that he sold amulets, insisting he was a carpenter.
The matter became political controversy after opposition leaders, including Congress's Rahul Gandhi, cited it to target the Yogi Adityanath government.
The First Information Report against Mr Idrisi alleged that he had "unnecessarily" made the video in which Abdul Samad describes the assault. It was made with an intention to "create social disharmony" and shared it through his Facebook account, the FIR said.
Mr Idrisi was booked under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups on ground of religion, class etc), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious belief), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (public mischief).
The police action on the issue has also encompassed Twitter, where the video of the attack was circulated. A case was filed against twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari and the matter has moved to the Supreme Court after he got protection from arrest by an order of the Karnataka High Court. First Information Reports have also been filed against several journalists.