Denver Newsroom, Jul 28, 2021 / 14:01 pm
A Catholic priest in southern India who made political remarks, including criticism of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, has been arrested for alleged hate speech.
The priest, Father George Ponnaiah, denies the charges, and has suggested that videos criticizing his remarks were deceptively edited. He apologized for any hurt he may have caused.
“My speech has been edited and circulated on social media to show that I hurt the sentiments of Hindu brothers and sisters,” Father Ponnaiah said, according to UCA News. “None of us on the dais said anything hurting religious sentiments. If my speech hurt anyone, I apologize wholeheartedly.”
Ponnaiah is a vicar of the Diocese of Kuzhithurai in the southern India state of Tamil Nadu. He was arrested July 24 and detained by a trial court for 15 days, as police filed criminal charges against him for his July 18 remarks. Some Hindu activists had threatened to stage protests on July 28 if the priest was not arrested.