RSS thinker, DU professor booked for inciting violence in Bengal

Kolkata Police have registered an FIR against RSS vicharak Rakesh Sinha for trying to spread communal hatred through social media over Basirhat violence. Sinha has described the charges as repressive.
RSS thinker and Delhi University professor Rakesh Sinha.(Facebook)
RSS thinker and Delhi University professor Rakesh Sinha.(Facebook)
Updated on Jul 18, 2017 09:39 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Kolkata | ByHT Correspondent

The Kolkata Police have registered an FIR against RSS vicharak (thinker) and Delhi University professor Rakesh Sinha for allegedly fanning communal hatred through social media posts on violence that rocked West Bengal’s Basirhat.

Sinha, who often articulates the viewpoint of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Singh, the ideological parent of the BJP, in television debates, has been accused of promoting communal disharmony and attempting to hurt a community’s religious feelings.

A teacher of political science, Sinha has denied posting such material and said it was a repressive tactic to silence him.

“I posted a picture with my mother offering prayers at the Mahakal temple in Ujjain on July 9, another of receiving an award from the President and one of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat releasing a book on Prime Minister. What is provocative about these?” Sinha said while speaking to Hindustan Times on Monday.

The “repressive tactics” of the Mamata government wouldn’t silence him, Sinha said in a series of tweets on Monday.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Manoj Kumar Singh, a shopowner in Kolkata.

Early this month communal violence swept through Basirhat in the North 24 Parganas district, which borders Bangladesh, after Muslim mobs went on a rampage, angered by a controversial Facebook post by a Hindu teenager. A man was killed and several homes, business and vehicles burnt in the violence that continued for days.

“The complaint is vague and has no annexure. The police have charged him with non-bailable sections. We are moving court, seeking anticipatory bail,” Sinha’s lawyer Brajesh Jha said.

Sinha is the fourth person to faces charges of inciting violence through using social media. Three of them are either from the RSS and or the BJP, which has been accused by chief minister Mamata Banerjee of stoking trouble.

BJP’s Asansol district IT cell chief Tarun Sengupta was arrested on July 13, three days after the Kolkata Police booked BJP’s Delhi spokesperson Nupur Sharma for allegedly circulating fake images of Basirhat violence.

One Bhabatosh Chatterjee was also arrested from Sonarpur, on the outskirts of Kolkata, for posting a still from a film and passing it off as a picture of Basirhat.

Banerjee has accused RSS and BJP supporters of circulating “inflammatory material” on social media to create trouble in Basirhat.

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