Police complaint against West Bengal poet for ‘hurting religious sentiments of Hindus’
A police complaint has been lodged against a Bengali poet in north Bengal’s Siliguri town for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.
Srijato Bandopadhyay posted the controversial 12-line poem on Facebook at 8:25pm on March 19, the day Aditya Nath was sworn in as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Arnab Sarkar, a resident of Bagha Jatin colony in Pradhan Nagar area, filed the complaint on Monday and wrote that the poem wounded “the feelings of each Hindu through the use of distasteful words”.
“The police was very reluctant to accept the complaint,” Sarkar told HT, demanding Bandyopadhyay’s arrest.
Till Tuesday morning, the poem was shared 591 times and got 1.3k comments and 3.9 ‘likes’ on the social media site. Though some expressed support, many lambasted Bandyopadhyay --- often in unprintable language --- on his wall.
“”I will not give much importance to the issue. The majority of people in this country believe in freedom of speech. A degree of freedom of speech still exists in this country. Our country has not become Pakistan or Bangladesh, and one has the right to speak here. Since the past two days I have been trolled in Facebook after I posted the poem.
“Some of the comments against me are dangerous threats. These people, so called flag bearers of Hindutva, never read poems and I do not expect them to understand,” the 42-year-old poet told HT.
Complainant Sarkar, a second-year student of accountancy, said: “I have reservations about the last line of the poem where he makes derogatory remarks about trishul, a quintessential symbol of Hindu religion.”
“Though one may contend that the new UP chief minister is the poet’s target, my objection is with the last line and has got no political connotation,” added Sarkar, the 20-year-old who joined the Hindu Samhati six months ago.
Sarkar also said he will explore other options if the police remains inactive. “We can go to court and also organise a movement if the police doesn’t act.”
Tapan Ghosh, president of Hindutva group Hindu Samhati, said, “The poem is written on the basis of false information...against Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. It is part of a misinformation campaign against him. Using this as a background, the poet has hurt Hindu sentiments and religion. We will not remain silent on this issue. We will go to court if police fails to take action.”