Now photo of someone praying in a temple can threaten peace in Bengal

Recently West Bengal was rocked by communal riots in Basirhat, when mobs of angry Muslims went on a rampage after getting offended by a Facebook post of a 17 years old boy, which allegedly portrayed their religion in a bad light.

While this gave an estimate of kind of Muslim radicalisation state was witnessing, Mamata Banerjee and her supporters blamed it all on BJP. While the state government stayed away from plain speak, they announced formation of a ”Shanti vahini” (peace force), which was purported to work towards maintaining peace and communal harmony in the state.

This peace force was supposed to monitor developments to see if anyone is spreading rumours or making provocative statements to start tensions in the state. Police and ‘youth’ from localities were supposed to be part of this peace force.

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And it appears that this force in now out in full force. Even a picture of a mother and son praying in temple is reportedly provocative now. This is what is being alleged, as a case has been filed under unbailable sections of the IPC against Professor Rakesh Sinha.

Rakesh Sinha is a professor in the Delhi University and is a known RSS ideologue. He on 9th July posted a picture of him and his mother offering puja on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima:

This tweet of his has resulted in him getting an FIR against his name if a report in India Today is to be believed. According to the report, the Kolkata Police has booked him under unbailable sections of the society based on a complaint, which was filed against him on 10th July.

The case based on the complaint which was subsequently registered on 12th July, claims that Rakesh Sinha had tried to incite communal hatred and violence in an already disturbed state (West Bengal) via his social media posts.

Evidently his post about offering puja in the Mahakaleshwar Temple has been made the basis of the complaint. Plus it needs to be noted that the temple in question is not in West Bengal but is in Madhya Pradesh!

The complaint has been filed by someone named Manoj Kumar Singh who found the post by Rakesh Sinha ‘provocative’, which could lead to communal tension and riots.

Rakesh Sinha has called this case a strong arming tactic by the Mamata regime, aimed at silencing criticism of the communal appeasement by her government. He also openly questioned the logic behind the case:

Rakesh Sinha has also also claimed that the FIR against him was lodged without any evidence and was registered without any annexure. He claimed that Mamata wanted to silence her opponents and she was using the police and administration as the B-team of the TMC. He also stated that Mamata has now started to chase her critics who are outside the state.

The lawyer of Rakesh Sinha has reportedly stated that they were moving to apply for an anticipatory bail and that they also planned to sue the complainant.

TMC leader Derek O’Brien, who had earlier this week posted a picture of himself with his ears and nose replaced with those of a dog to support freedom of expression, refused to comment on the issue.


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