Hyderabad: Two arrested for not standing up during national anthem at movie theatre

Hyderabad movie theatre arrest

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In yet another shocking incident, two persons were taken into custody in Hyderabad for not standing up during the national anthem before a movie inside an INOX theatre.

national anthem at movie theatre

As per the reports, a television journalist identified as A. Sampath called in Hyderabad police to the theatre after two moviegoers Syed Shafi Hussain and Mohammed Ilyas allegedly refused to stand up for the national anthem.

The duo was booked under Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 by the Sultan Bazaar Police while they were watching the movie ‘Chitrangada’.

The 30-year-old Hussaini had been working in Australia was in India for his wedding and was about to head back to Australia shortly. While talking to leading portal Scroll.in, about the incident, Hussaini said, “They didn’t even tell us what sections they booked the FIR under. They were reluctant to show us the FIR copy and didn’t allow us to call our family members either. They switched off our phones and made us sit from 7.30 pm till 11.30 pm.”

Recalling the incident, Hussaini further told the portal, “I had sprained my leg climbing the stairs. 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.”

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“Later on, the police called his brother, who is a lawyer by profession, and “threatened him, saying I had committed a very big crime as if I murdered someone”, he said.The duo was released on bail that night after being detained in the police station for 4 hours.

The whole incident has left Hussaini’s family worried if the case would effect his way to Australia and work there.“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. 

Defending Hussaini in the entire case, his lawyer brother said that Hussaini has come to India from Australia after 9 years. He was unaware of the Supreme Court’s order.  “How could you expect him to know Indian rules? We all know that it is not mandatory to stand up for the national anthem, then under which section have they booked this case?,” his brother told Scroll.in. 

The arrest came in the wake of Supreme Court ruling that directed that cinema halls across the country must play the national anthem before the screening of a film and people should stand up as a mark of respect. The court also directed that the national flag should be shown on screen when the anthem is played. However, the apex court on February 14 had also clarified that the audience need not stand when the National Anthem is being played as part of the storyline of a film or documentary.

Source : India.com

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