Senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi Friday got an FIR lodged with the cyber cell of Uttar Pradesh Police against unidentified persons for running a hate campaign against her by posting objectionable material in her name on social media.
Joshi, the Lucknow MLA, claimed that the hate campaign on Facebook, WhatsApp and other social networking platforms began soon after she took part in a debate on a news channel on construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya on December 23.
She alleged that her personal cellphone number is being circulated on social media alongwith her photograph and a “false statement” that she felt sad on hearing slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” in the Parliament during recent session. She said that the message further says that “Jai Shri Ram ka naara sunkar is aurat ko dukh hua. Is aurat ka number hai…Ise phone karke iske dukh ka karan poochhiye (This woman got hurt hearing slogans of Jai Shri Ram. Call her and ask why she is feeling hurt)”.
After filing the complaint, Joshi said she came to know of the hate campaign after she started getting phone calls from different parts of the country as well as abroad at odd hours using abusive language and asking her to explain her “statement on Jai Shri Ram”.
She said that some of these callers even threatened her asking her to be ready for serious outcome.
“I am a proud and a liberal Hindu, who gives due respect to all the religions instead of trying to divide the society in the name of religion,” Joshi said, adding, “I know that this is the work of RSS and BJP, who think that they have got patent on even god and plan to misuse the name of Ram. I have lodged the complaint because I want to know the exact sources of this hate campaign”.
Joshi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who did not speak a word on construction of Ram Temple in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, “now sees name of Ram as a mere key to win elections in UP, especially after facing defeat in Delhi and then in Bihar”.
She said she will “expose those behind this hate campaign, “which is based on false rumours about things I have not said” and added that she will not change her mobile number.
Congress Rajya Sabha MP and chairman of National SC/ST commission, PL Punia and senior party leader Ram Krishna Dwivedi also came out in support of Joshi and said Congress would take to roads to protest against the harassment of the senior leader.
“It is the campaign of RSS to defame Congress leaders,” said Punia.
The FIR has been lodged at Hazratganj police station under IPC sections 500, 504, 506, 507 (b), 509, and IT Act.