DU professor arrested over social media post on Varanasi mosque

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An associate professor with Delhi University was arrested last night over a social media post referring to claims about a ‘Shivling’ found inside Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque complex, quoting police PTI reported.

Police said Ratan Lal, who works with Hindu College, was arrested by officers of north Delhi’s Cyber Police Station under under Indian Penal Code 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 act to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion).

The FIR against Lal was registered Tuesday night following a police complaint by a Delhi-based lawyer.

In his complaint, advocate Vineet Jindal said Lal had recently shared a “derogatory, inciting and provocative tweet on the Shivling”.

The statement made by Lal on his Twitter account is “instigating and provoking”, he said in the complaint.

The issue is very sensitive in nature and is pending before the court, the lawyer said in his complaint.

Defending his post earlier, Prof. Lal had said, “In India, if you speak about anything, someone or the other’s sentiment will be hurt. So this is nothing new. I am a historian and have made several observations. As I wrote them down, I have used very guarded language in my post and still this. I will defend myself.”

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