Giving a stark proof of cracking the whip on minorities and bending the law for the majority in India, the Madhya Pradesh police slapped serious charges against a Muslim student for referring to the members of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, who had contracted COVID-19 at the RSS office in the city, as pigs. The reference was a dig at wrestler-turned-BJP politician Babita Phogat who had called the Tablighi Jamaat members “jaahil suar” (ignorant pigs), in a tweet and accused them of spreading coronavirus in the country. Also Read - 'Should We Hang Ourselves If Vaccines Are Not Available' Asks Union Minister Sadananda Gowda
Phogat had later deleted the tweet after the netizens outraged and she drew massive flak from all corners. Shared on April 20, it had read, “Bats may have spread it in your country. In India it is being spread by ignorant pigs. #NizamuddinIdiots (sic)” Also Read - Rs 5000/Month Pension For Children Who Lost Parents During Pandemic, MP CM Shivraj Singh Takes BIG Decision. Details
Referring to the same after 12 RSS members contracted COVID-19, Haq shared on the Facebook page of ‘NSUI Group Jabalpur VVV’, “12 pigs have been tested corona positive in our city today. Close the offices of these pigs, they are spreading corona across the country (sic).” Ziya-ul-Haq is a 23-year-old final year student of B. Pharm. at the Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya and a resident of Mansurabad Gohalpur of Jabalpur district.
Evidently triggered by it, Neeraj Rajput, state vice president of Hindu Dharm Sena and also an RSS worker reportedly, registered a case with the Jabalpur police against Ziya-ul-Haq for insulting the religious beliefs of the group.
The complaint in the FIR read, “The RSS is a patriotic and social work organisation, and has crores of members in this country. The Muslim man’s indecent reference to such an organisation can endanger social harmony. The abusive reference made by the man has hurt my feelings of nationalist and social service.”
According to a report in The Wire, Rajput even threatened the police that if they failed to arrest Haq, “an angry protest movement will be organised.” Within a few hours, Haq was slapped with section 295 (A) (‘Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs’) and 505 (‘Statements conducing to public mischief’) of the Indian Penal Code and put behind bars.
A social media outrage erupted instantly as the news went viral. While some demanded Phogat’s arrest so as to be fair, many accused the law of discriminating against the minorities.
Check out Twitter’s reaction on the news here:
Haq was booked on July 20. He was denied bail when his lawyer Vikash Rathour filed for the same on July 21 as the court claimed the crime to be serious and sent him to police custody till July 24. Now, his case is being defended by Madhya Pradesh’s high court advocate Nayeem Khan.