Hyderabad: Shankar Ponnam of Jagtial has been charged with blasphemy in Saudi Arabia. He has been sentenced to four months imprisonment and was imposed a fine of 5,000 Saudi riyals on Wednesday. He was arrested by the Riyadh police on November 22 last year for sharing a blasphemous post on Facebook. The fine amount works out to Rs 90,810.
Shankar’s family pleads that the convict doesn’t have the money to pay fine and sought state and central governments’ help in his case. Responding to their plea external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had directed the Indian Embassy in Riyadh to take up Shankar’s case with the Saudi government
Shankar had gone to Saudi Arabia to work as an agriculture labour. He was working in Tameer district of Al-Majmaah when he shared the offensive FB post on November 12, 2016. His brother claimed that Ponnam had no intention of hurting anybody’s religious sentiments.