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A man return to India from Saudi jail after 20 months for a Facebook post he didn’t posted

Harsh Bangera, an air conditioning technician who belongs to Udupi district, located in Karnataka, returned home on Wednesday after spending around 600 days in a Saudi jail, for a Facebook post which he didn’t even posted. He got arrested when he was in Saudi Arabia on the charges of defaming and insulting a community and the Crown Prince on Facebook.

Harsh Bangera who is a resident of bijari village got arrested on December 22 of 2019 and he was in the Saudi city of Dammam. He went to the Saudi city of Dammam for his work. According to some reports, it’s said that he supported the Indian government citizenship amendment act and plans which were for the National register of citizens,, and regarding this, he shared a Facebook post drawing his employer’s ire. In an interaction with The Indian Express, Harsh Bangera, when arriving in Bangalore on Wednesday morning said that “I released a video apologizing for sharing the post. I did not, however, mention that it was specifically for the post which I had made and l deactivated my Facebook account”.

But after a few days, he saw another Facebook account in his name, and that Facebook account used to post something defaming or insulting about the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, and in addition to this the Facebook posts were also defaming a community too. This act of defaming the Crown Prince and a community lead to the arrest of him. While on the other hand in the Udupi district, when her wife Sumana came to know about the arrest of her husband, Suman immediately met the district police and filed a complaint. She said that some unknown persons are using Bangera’s name on Facebook and defamed the Crown Prince and the community, leading to his arrest.

After searching a lot about the person who is behind this fake Facebook account of Harsh Bangera, last year in October the local police arrested two brothers and they are now identified as Abdul Huyez and Abdul Thuyez, they were residents of Moodbidri Town, located in Dakshina Kananda District. According to the sources, it was also found that these two brothers created the fake Facebook account of Harish Bangera on the same day when Harsh Bangera deactivated his account. On asking the reason to do so, they said that due to the anger they had as Bangera shared a post supporting CAA and NRC, they took this step.

The police of the Udupi district submitted the charge sheet within 10 days. N Vishnuvardhan SP of Udupi police, in an interaction with The Indian Express, said that through the MEA, the translated charge sheets were soon submitted to the Saudi authorities. Harsh Bangera was then released by Saudi authorities on Tuesday.

When he landed on Wednesday at Bengaluru airport, he got so emotional as he saw his 4-year-old daughter, his family, and started crying. He said that he saw his daughter after 19 months and he said to The Indian Express that “I was made to look like a terrorist by posts that were made by somebody else. My family and I went through horrific times. Before I was jailed, I used to make video calls to my wife and daughter 3 to 4 times a day but I barely spoke to them after I was jailed.” He further said that he believed and he was confident that he would get justice. SP Vishnuvardhan also shared his happiness as Harish came back home. He further said that the case against the accused is under trial in the local court.

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