Days after an FIR was filed against him, a 50-year-old associate professor from Delhi University’s Hindu College has been arrested in connection with an allegedly objectionable social media post referring to claims of a Shivling being found at the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.
According to police, Professor Ratan Lal, who teaches history, had allegedly posted a photo of the structure and made objectionable comments on Tuesday.
An officer said Lal was first summoned for questioning, and later arrested. DCP (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi confirmed the arrest on Friday night.
Following the arrest, some student groups, including the All India Students Association, said they were gathering to protest outside the police station in Maurice Nagar.
According to police, a case was registered against Lal under IPC sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and 295-A (malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) based on a complaint by a “social worker”. An FIR was registered at Cyber Police Station late Tuesday night.
After his social media post went viral, Lal had posted a video saying he had received several threats online, and asked police for “security” and help.
On Wednesday, Lal had told The Indian Express: “I was not expecting threats and abuses for this statement. There is a long tradition of critique in Hinduism from Phule, Ravidas and Ambedkar. Here, I haven’t even critiqued it, it is just an observation. In our country, religious feelings get hurt over anything. What will people do, just put patti (bandage) on their mouths?”