Associate professor of Delhi University’s Hindu College Ratan Lal was arrested last night for his ‘objectionable’ social media post referring to claims about a Shiva Linga found inside Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque complex, police said.
Police said Lal was arrested 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) by the Cyber Police Station, North.
An FIR had been lodged against the professor in the night of 17 May on the basis of a complaint filed by a Delhi-based lawyer.
In his complaint, advocate Vineet Jindal said the professor had recently shared a “derogatory, inciting and provocative” tweet on the Shiva Linga.
The statement made by Lal on his Twitter account is “instigating and provoking”, he said in the complaint.
The statement was posted on the issue of a Shiva Linga found in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex which is very sensitive in nature and the matter is pending before the court, the lawyer said in his complaint.
Defending his post, the professor had said earlier, “In India, if you speak about anything, someone or the other’s (sic) 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.”