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Azam’s supporters want NSA invoked against Dalit scholar

Supporters of Khan,the urban development minister in Akhilesh Yadav government,reached the office of Rampur Superintendent of Police,Umesh Kumar Singh,and demanded that the NSA be invoked Bharti for hurting religious sentiments

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow |
August 9, 2013 3:39:24 am

Two days after Dalit scholar Kamal Bharti was arrested and released on bail for posting a comment on social networking website Facebook criticising IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal’s suspension,supporters of cabinet minister Azam Khan Thursday demanded that National Security Act be invoked against him.

Hundreds of supporters of Khan,the urban development minister in Akhilesh Yadav government,reached the office of Rampur Superintendent of Police,Umesh Kumar Singh,and demanded that the NSA be invoked Bharti for hurting religious sentiments. The stringent NSA provides for preventive detention for reasons like maintaining security,public order and so on.

Bharti was arrested on Tuesday after a close aide of Khan lodged a complaint stating that the Dalit scholar had posted comments on Facebook with the intention of spreading communal tension,and that it had hurt the Muslim community.

The scholar was booked under sections 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of IPC but was released on bail the same day. The case is being investigated by Crime Branch of Rampur,which has also seized Bharti’s computer.

“He got the bail because the case was registered under milder sections. We want that NSA should be invoked against him,” said Fasahat Ali ‘Shanu’,who is the media in-charge for Khan and had filed the complaint against Bharti. “We have nothing to do with the suspension of Nagpal. Let him write whatever he wants,but he should not comment on our religion,” Fasahat,who also protested at SP’s office,added.

The protesters,mostly Muslims and local clerics,left only after the SP assured them that he will consult legal experts.

Fasahat said the protesters left after giving warning “since it is Eid”,but “will lay siege to SP’s house if NSA is not invoked against Bharti.”

However,he denied any association of Samajwadi Party or even Azam Khan with the protest. “It was a protest by the Muslims of Rampur. We did not consider it necessary to consult Azam Khan as the issue is related to our religion,” he Fasahat added.

On August 5,Bharti posted an update on Facebook saying Nagpal was suspended for demolishing the wall of a mosque,but no officer was suspended in Rampur where an old madrasa was demolished,and this was only because the city was ruled by Azam Khan,and not by the government.

Earlier,on August 2,Bharti had posted,“How is your Aaj Tak the fastest? You don’t even know that an old madrasa was bulldozed in Rampur and its operator was sent to jail for opposing it,and he is still in jail. Akhilesh’s government did not suspend any officer in Rampur. That is because Rampur is ruled by Azam Khan and not Akhilesh. Even God has not got the authority to stop him (Unko rokne ki majal to Khuda mei bhi nahi hai)” .

This reference to God is being protested by the minister’s supporters.

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