DU Professor Booked for 'Objectionable' Comments on 'Shivling' Found at Gyanvapi Mosque

After his social media post went viral, the professor in question alleged that he had been threatened online by many users, prompting him to approach police for security and help.

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New Delhi: An assistant professor from Delhi University’s Hindu College has been booked after he allegedly made objectionable comments on social media on a Shivling claimed to have been found at Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, the Indian Express has reported.

Police filed a case against Ratan Lal under Section 295 A (malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on Wednesday, May 18, and an FIR was registered against him at Cyber Police Station.

Lal, according to the police, shared a photo of the structure with some alleged objectionable comments on Tuesday, May 17.

Lal alleged that after his social media post went viral, he had been threatened online by many social media users, prompting him to approach the police for security and help.

Speaking to IE on charges against him, Lal said, ” I have not yet received any notice from the police, but if I do, I will cooperate with them. 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 on their mouths?”

On Thursday, May 19, the Supreme Court told the Varanasi court, which has proceedings pending before it, not to take further action until it heard the matter, on a plea challenging the orders of the Varanasi court.

The apex court had earlier, on May 17, ordered the Varanasi district magistrate to secure the area where a Shivling was claimed to have been found in the Gyanvapi Mosque during a videographic survey of the mosque area without restricting the rights of Muslims to access and offer namaz at the mosque.

The dispute emerged after five Hindu women petitioned the Varanasi court to allow them to pray at a “shrine” behind the western wall of the mosque complex, claiming that there were idols of Hindu deities. The court then appointed advocate commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra to carry out an inspection of the site.

The report of the filming of the Gyanvapi mosque was submitted to the Varanasi court on Thursday, May 19, morning.