The much-abused section 66A may be history after Supreme Court’s intervention but not in the BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh, where police on Wednesday arrested two people just because they had posted morphed image of the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
According to a report on India.com, two Muslim youth, Shakir Yunus Banthia and Vasim Shaikh were arrested for sharing morphed images of Bhagwat.
While Banthia, 22 belonged to Bhikangaon village, the 21-year-old Shaikh resided in Khargone. The arrest was made on a complaint filed by one Rajnish Nimbalkar, who claimed that his religious feelings has been hurt since Bhagwat represents the Hindu community.
The image in question showed Bhagwat’s torso being attached with that of a woman wearing brown pants. The image was mocking the RSS’ decision to change from khaki shorts to brown full pants.
Police have charged both Banthia and Shaikh with sections 67 of Information Technology Act and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code. While section 67 of IT act relates to publication of obscene content, the IPC clause was invoked against them since it was intended to create enmity between communities.
Banthia has posted the image of Facebook, whereas, Shaikh had shared it on WhatsApp group. Senior Inspector M P Verma, who has been handling the case, said that Shaikh was not the admin of the WhatsApp group and had merely forwarded the image which was sent to him by someone else.
Banthia had also re-shared the image of Bhagwat and did not create it himself. However, Additional SP Antar Singh Kanesh is firm that the duo have violates section 505 (2) of IPC if not the contentious provisions of IT act.