A 39-year-old Mumbai-based doctor, who was released on bail on Thursday after being arrested for allegedly posting “anti-Hindu” and “anti-Brahmin” views on Facebook, has claimed that his posts did not criticise any religion but “Brahmanwad” that stands for practices like untouchability.
“I don’t even know who the complainant is. There was no intention of hurting anyone’s religious beliefs. Whatever I said was based on facts and, in some cases, High Court orders which I have read. If anyone had any problem, they should have countered me on facts or spoken to me,” Dr Sunil Kumar Nishad, a homoeopathic doctor practising in Vikhroli’s Parksite area, told The Indian Express on Thursday after he was released on bail.
Dr Nishad, an OBC, was arrested on Wednesday after a Shiv Sena member and social activist, Ravindra Tiwari, filed a police complaint. An FIR was registered subsequently. Dr Nishad’s lawyers said they would now approach Bombay HC for quashing the FIR.
The doctor was produced in the magistrate court in Vikhroli on Thursday. Prosecutor Vaishali Agawane sought two-day police custody for him. The magistrate, however, remanded him in judicial custody and eventually granted him bail. Dr Nishad’s wife and four-month-old daughter were at his in-laws’ residence in Pune during court proceedings. A few of his friends were present in court.
Dr Sunil Yadav, from the Indian Medical Professional Association, who was present in court, said, “Dr Nishad is himself a Hindu. He has not targeted any particular religion. He has opposed ‘Brahmanwad’, which is a discriminatory practice. The likes of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule have also attacked these practices… Then why did you have to register a case when he also spoke against the same things?”
Tiwari, the complainant, said, “What he posted online hurt my religious feelings. Through others, I had told him to stop putting up such posts but he continued doing so for the past two years. Recently, when someone I knew went to him for treatment, he again started telling him these things. That is when I decided to lodge a complaint.”
“It doesn’t matter that he secured bail. It will ensure he does not post such things in future,” he added.
Dr Nishad’s lawyer Shiv Pasi said, “We will approach the Bombay HC to quash the FIR.
On his Facebook page, Dr Nishad identifies himself as a BAMCEF cadre. BAMCEF stands for ‘The Minority Communities Employees Federation’ that was launched by BSP’s Kanshi Ram. Nishad, who has 4,996 friends on Facebook, has put up posts questioning the efficacy of EVMs and criticising Pragya Singh Thakur, among others.