Delhi Police has registered an FIR against a Delhi University professor for posting provocative content on social media after ‘discovery’ of ‘Shivling’ inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi during a video survey.
“A complaint was received last night against one Ratan Lal, Prof of History at Hindu College, DU, regarding a deliberate and malicious post on Facebook intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting a religion or religious beliefs,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Sagar Singh Kalsi said.
He said that a legal action has been initiated in this regard and the police have registered a case under sections 153A (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 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code at the Cyber Police station north district.
The DU professor had allegedly posted derogatory content along with the latest picture of Shivling that was found at the Gyanvapi mosque.
The complainant, a Delhi-based Advocate, Vineet Jindal, had written to the Delhi Police stating that the statement made by Dr Ratan Lal is not only ‘instigating and provoking’ but also stirring emotions among the Hindu religion followers. “Our constitution provides every citizen with the freedom of speech and expression but the misuse of this right is inexplicable when it threatens the harmony of the country and provokes its citizens based on community and religion and threatens the security of the nation then it is considered as a grave offence,” Jindal told IANS.
Demanding punitive legal action against the professor, Jindal further said that Rattan Lal’s remarks show his intent of activating enmity between different groups on the ground of religion which is against the ideology of a secular democratic country like India and also a criminal offence as per the law.
Gyanvapi Mosque, adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, is currently facing a legal battle. A court in Varanasi had directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to probe the structure of the Gyanvapi Masjid. As the videography survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex was completed on Monday, the Hindu side advocates claimed that a 12-feet diameter ‘Shivling’ had been found inside the well of the mosque. One day later on Tuesday, the matter reached the Supreme Court which directed the Varanasi administration to protect and seal the area where a “Shivling” was found.