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Former SP leader Shahzeb Rizvi arrested by UP police for announcing ₹51 lakh bounty on Dalit youth’s head for ‘blasphemy’

Shahzeb Rizvi had announced a bounty of Rs 51 lakh on the head of Karnataka Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy's nephew P Naveen for a 'blasphemous' Facebook post

A day after former Samajwadi Party leader and ‘social worker’ Shahzeb Rizvi had announced a bounty of Rs 51 lakh on the head of a Karnataka Congress MLA’s nephew for blasphemy, the Uttar Pradesh police arrested him. Shalabh Mani Tripathi, media adviser to UP CM Yogi Adityanath, informed on Twitter that Rizvi has been arrested.

After the video of Shahzeb Rizvi announcing the bounty of Rs 51 Lakh for anyone who brings the head of P Naveen went viral on social media, Uttar Pradesh police had filed a case against him, and had started to search for him. The FIR was registered under IPC section 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and section 505(2) (Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes).

After the video surfaced on social media, Meerut SSP Ajay Sahini had ordered a probe into the matter, and the case was registered.

Earlier in the day, Tripathi had informed that Shahzeb Rizvi was absconding from UP police after announcing the bounty, and was ‘collecting donations for his bail’, an apparent reference to Rizvi’s statement where he had sought contributions from his community members for the bounty amount.

Shalabh Mani Tripathi also posted a video showing Shahzeb Rizvi arrested by police, saying that another video has been made featuring Rizvi. He also informed that Rizvi refused to board the police vehicle, and insisted on going on foot.

The Facebook post by Naveen, nephew of Karnataka Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, a Dalit leader, had triggered the riots by Muslim mob in Bengaluru on 11th August. It was alleged that Naveen had committed blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad. Following this, Shahzeb Rizvi had posted a video announcing the bounty, asking Muslims to behead Naveen and bring his head in return for Rs 51 Lakh.

Shahzeb Rizvi is former politician from Samajwadi Party, although at present he is not associated with the party. He was the state secretary for the minority cell in the party in Uttar Pradesh. He is a resident of Rasulpur village under Phalauda police station in Meerut. After leaving the Samajwadi Party, at present he identifies himself as a ‘social worker’.

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