On late Friday, Delhi University professor Ratan Lal was arrested for making objectionable comments against the Shivling that was unearthed inside Varanasi’s disputed structure called Gyanvapi Mosque, built on the ruins of a temple. Lal, who is an assistant professor at Hindu College, was initially summoned for questioning, and he was later arrested. The Delhi Police arrested him based on a complaint registered by Supreme Court advocate Vineet Jindal, who had accused Lal of offending religious sensitivities.
The Delhi Police had arrested Ratan Lal under Indian Penal Code section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate act to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion) by the Cyber Police Station, NorthAfter his social media post went viral, Lal had posted a video saying he had received several threats online, and asked police for “security” and help.
According to police, Professor Ratan Lal,50 years, who teaches history, had allegedly posted a photo of the structure and made objectionable comments on Tuesday. Following the arrest, some student groups, including the All India Students Association, said they were gathering to protest outside the police station in Maurice Nagar.
On Wednesday, Lal had told news agencies that “I was not expecting threats and abuses for this statement. There is a long tradition of critique in Hinduism from Phule, Ravidas, and Ambedkar. Here, I haven’t even critiqued it, it is just an observation. In our country, religious feelings get hurt over anything. What will people do, just put patti (bandage) on their mouths?”
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