Gyanvapi row: DU professor arrested for ‘derogatory’ post granted bail

A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to Delhi University (DU) history professor Ratan Lal, who was arrested on Friday for an ‘offensive and derogatory’ post on social media about the Shivling that was allegedly found in the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

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Lal was arrested on Friday night and was then produced at the Tis Hazari Court in Delhi. The court said that his bail would be granted on furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000 and surety on like amount.

Earlier on Saturday, deputy commissioner of police Sagar Singh Kalsi said, “A complaint was received against one Ratan Lal, Prof of History at Hindu College, DU, regarding a deliberate and malicious post on FB intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting a religion or religious beliefs.”

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He said that a legal action has been initiated in this regard and the police have registered a case under sections 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295 A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code at the Cyber Police station north district.]

Gyanvapi mosque, adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, is currently facing a legal battle. A court in Varanasi had directed the Archaeological Survey of India to probe the structure of the Gyanvapi Masjid. A ‘Shivling’ was found in the complex, alleged the Hindu side of the issue, while the Muslim side claims that the structure is a fountain.

The Allahabad High Court adjourned the hearing on the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi Mosque issue till July 6.

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