External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday directed Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to take up with the Saudi government the arrest of an Indian engineer from Telangana for allegedly posting a “blasphemous” photo on social media.
“I have asked our Ambassador in Saudi Arabia to take this up with the Saudi Government @IndianEmbRiyadh,” she tweeted.
Her response came after one Naseema Khan brought the case of Shankar Ponnam who was arrested by Riyadh police nearly one-and-half months back.
Ponnam, who is in his 40s and works as an agricultural engineer, allegedly posted on Facebook a doctored photo of the Kaaba, a sacred site in Islam.
He is from Jagtial district in Telangana and is an employee with a farm in Tameer district of Al-Majmaah region.
Ponnam offended the sentiments of Muslims by posting the photo of holy Kaaba and his act triggered a social media outcry and condemnation, Col. Fawaz Al-Maiman, spokesman for Riyadh Police, was quoted as saying by local media in Riyadh.
He said police confiscated the mobile phone used by Ponnam to post the “blasphemous photo”.