A 17-year-old blacksmith was arrested on Tuesday in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh for his alleged post on Facebook, which said “we’ll build Babri mosque in Modi’s house”. A juvenile court released him on bail on Wednesday.
The teenager, a resident of Petlawad town neighbouring Gujarat, was picked up after a complaint from tour and travel operator Pankaj Joshi, who was tagged to the offensive post.
He was booked under Section 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code for posting on social media statements that create or promote enmity, hatred or ill-will in society.
Complainant Joshi, who is also from Petlawad, alleged that the teenager posted material that talked about rebuilding the Babri mosque not only in Ayodhya but inside Modi’s house too.
“We’re verifying whether the post was written by the arrested teenager or he had used the contents of a post made by someone else,” Petlawad police station in-charge KS Shaktawat said.
If the post was scripted by someone else that person will also be charged.
This is the third instance of men from a particular community in Madhya Pradesh being arrested for offensive posts on social media over the past five months.
In March, two men were taken into custody in Khargone district for allegedly sharing morphed images of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on social media.
Bhopal police arrested two men in Mumbai in May for allegedly posting insulting material about goddess Kali on social media.
The opposition Congress spokesperson KK Mishra said no one should be allowed to share offensive statements or images in the real or virtual world that endangers communal harmony.
“But merely punishing ordinary men for making such offensive posts on social media and sparing leaders and members of saffron outfits who openly stir up communal passions amounts to double standards on the part of the government and police,” Mishra said.
To make his point, he cited a recent newspaper advertisement in which a ruling BJP leader from Dhar district, Sanjay Vaishnav, is seen dressed as Hanuman before former Union minister Vikram Verma and his BJP MLA wife Nina Verma.
“Doesn’t that amount to making a mockery of a community’s sentiments?” Mishra asked.