Four of family arrested for threatening neighbours against lighting diyas

HYDERABAD: The city police on Wednesday arrested Gona Shalini, her husband Gona Christopher and their sons Rajiv and Ajith, for allegedly threatening and abusing women, who lived in a neighbouring flat for lighting diyas and trying to decorate their house with rangoli on Diwali.

The video, which was shared on Twitter and went viral on social media, shows Shalini threatening to hit the girls with her chappals for the rangoli and diyas. Her two sons threatened the women with dire consequences and physical harm.

Protests rocked near the Chikkadpally police station, where several women protestors said that their religious sentiments were being hurt and their rights to celebrate Diwali were infringed upon. They demanded stringent action against the family.

The police said that a case was registered against the accused earlier, under sections 506 and 509 of the IPC. They were finally arrested on Wednesday. Based on the findings, further investigation will be taken up, they said. The police, however, said that there was no communal angle as it seemed a petty neighbourhood fight.

The protests continued till Wednesday afternoon and subsided only after police arrested the accused and assured a thorough investigation to get conviction of the accused.

Deccan Chronicle had on Tuesday reported about how the women were abused, harassed and threatened. Since Wednesday morning, several organisations staged protests near the Chikkadpally police station, demanding immediate arrest of the accused and also protection for the victimised women.

VHP activists, who also protested, while blaming delay in police action, said that they would fight against all those who trouble people for following festive rituals.

The incident, which took place on Monday night during Diwali, came to light after the victims took to Twitter to share their plight after they had lit diyas in front of their flat in Archana Apartments at RTC crossroads.

After the tweet went viral, people began demanding action against the intolerant family. Police reached out to the victims. Later, based on a complaint from them, a case was registered and investigations are underway.

After collecting evidence, including videos shot by the victim, the police, after arresting the accused, said “so far, we have not found any evidence that there was any inter-faith provocation to the incident.”

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