After 604 days in Saudi jail for a Fb submit he didn’t make, 34-year-old is residence


An air-conditioning technician belonging to Udupi district in Karnataka returned residence Wednesday after spending 604 days in a jail in Saudi Arabia on expenses of defaming the Crown Prince and a neighborhood on social media. Harish Begera, 34, confronted life in jail or the demise penalty, earlier than a probe by the Udupi police discovered that impersonators had been behind the submit that landed him in jail.

A resident of Bijadi village, Bangera was arrested on December 22, 2019, within the Saudi metropolis of Dammam the place he labored. This was three days after he shared a Fb submit that supported the Indian authorities’s Citizenship (Modification) Act and plans for a Nationwide Register of Residents, drawing his employer’s ire.

“I launched a video apologising for sharing the submit. I didn’t, nonetheless, point out that it was particularly for the submit which I had made, and later deactivated my Fb account,” Bangera, who arrived in Bengaluru on Wednesday morning, advised The Indian Specific.

However quickly, there was one other Fb account, in his title, the place defamatory posts had been put up towards Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and a neighborhood, resulting in his arrest.

Again residence in Udupi, his spouse Sumana M filed a criticism with the district police, saying unknown individuals had impersonated Bangera on Fb.

In October final 12 months, native police arrested two brothers from Moodbidri city in Dakshina Kananda district, Abdul Huyez and Abdul Thuyez, after their probe discovered that the 2 had created the Fb account in Bangera’s title the identical day as he deactivated his profile. In accordance with police, they did it out of anger over Bangera sharing a submit supporting the CAA and NRC.

The Udupi district police submitted a chargesheet inside 10 days. SP, Udupi, N Vishnuvardhan advised The Indian Specific that the chargesheet was translated and shared with Saudi authorities by way of the MEA. On Tuesday, the Saudi authorities launched Bangera.

At Bengaluru airport Wednesday, Bangera couldn’t management his tears seeing his four-year-old daughter after 19 months. “I used to be made to appear like a terrorist by posts that had been made by any individual else. My household and I went by way of horrific occasions,” he advised The Indian Specific. “Earlier than I used to be jailed I used to make video calls to my spouse and daughter three-four occasions a day. I barely spoke to them after I used to be jailed.”

He added that he was all the time assured he would get justice. “However I used to be freed solely after spending 604 days in jail.”

SP Vishnuvardhan mentioned, “We’re pleased Harish is again residence. The case towards the accused is beneath trial within the native courtroom.”