Hyderabad: Police began questioning Hindu religious leader Swami Kamlananda Bharati in connection with a hate speech he delivered at a rally here last week.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) took custody of Bharati on Thursday morning from Cherlapally Jail.

A city court on Wednesday had sent Bharati to two days police custody while dismissing his bail petition. The questioning will continue on Friday. Bharati, president of Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi, which works for protecting Hindu temples, was arrested on Monday in Srisailam and brought to Hyderabad. The same day, he was sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

Police booked a case against him for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and performing acts detrimental to communal harmony. He had made the provocative speech at a rally organised on January 9 to condemn Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi's hate speech.

Meanwhile, a group of Hindu religious leaders called on Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy to demand Bharati's release, alleging that a false case was booked against him. Another group of leaders launched a hunger strike at Banjara Hills police station demanding that they be allowed to meet Governor ESL Narasimhan.


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