MP: Muslims Who Protested Anti-Islam Social Media Post to Face NSA for 'Controversial' Slogans

Protesting against an objectionable message against Islam, a group of people gathered at a police outpost in Ratlam district and allegedly called for the beheading of person who posted the message on social media.

New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra has said penal action under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) would be taken against some people in Ratlam district of the state who allegedly raised slogans calling for the beheading of a person who had posted an objectionable social media post on Islam.

On the night of August 9, a large group of people from the Muslim community gathered in large numbers outside a police outpost under Deen Dayal Nagar police station in Ratlam demanding action against a person who had posted objectionable content against their faith on social media platform Instagram.

“Members of a community (Muslims) were angered by a social media post and gathered at the police outpost demanding that an FIR be lodged in the matter,” Ratlam Additional SP Rajesh Khaka told reporters.

It was later reported that some of the protestors outside the police outpost had allegedly raised a controversial slogan of ‘sar tan se juda’, often evoked by fundamentalist Muslims in blasphemy cases. Videos of the alleged slogans were widely shared on social media.

The Wire has not been able to access the objectionable post nor can it independently verify the veracity of the videos with the controversial slogans.

Responding to a query by a reporter, home minister Mishra said on Friday, August 11, that those accused of raising the slogans would be arrested and action would be taken against them under the NSA. An FIR was already lodged and the accused have been identified, he added, without providing details.

“Let me make this clear, this is not Rajasthan nor is there a Congress government here. This is Madhya Pradesh. And those raising such atanki (terrorist) slogans will realise in 24 hours…be careful otherwise, they will not understand what all will be juda (pulled apart),” said Mishra.

Ratlam Additional SP late on Wednesday said a case under Section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was lodged against the person who posted the objectionable post and promised to take strict action against the culprit.

Rahul Kumar Lodha, Ratlam Superintendent of Police, on August 11 said action had been taken against the person who posted the objectionable post which had triggered a protest by the local Muslims. However, police are yet to reveal the identity of the accused, and whether or not the accused was arrested.

Lodha also said that a case under Section 188 of the IPC – which deals with deliberate disobedience of an order by a public servant – had also been lodged against the “illegal gathering” outside the police outpost. According to him, some people instigated others to join the crowd and gather outside the police outpost. The said persons would be identified through CCTV footage and action will be taken against them, Lodha said in a video statement.

The police officer also appealed to the people of Ratlam to stop posting objectionable and provocative content on social media. “We will not spare anyone who spoils the social harmony of the town,” he said.