Gyanvapi row: Court grants bail to DU prof Ratan Lal arrested for derogatory post

On May 18, the police registered an FIR against the History professor Ratan Lal of Delhi University’s Hindu College for posting provocative content.
Ratan Lal
Delhi University professor Ratan Lal

New Delhi, May 22 : A court here on Saturday granted bail to Delhi University History professor Ratan Lal, who was arrested for posting derogatory content on social media after the ‘discovery’ of ‘Shivling’ inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi during a video survey.

Prof. Ratan Lal was presented before Tis Hazari Court on Saturday afternoon. He was placed under arrest on Friday night by the Civil Lines Police, and granted bail on Saturday on furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000 and surety on the like amount.

On May 18, the police registered an FIR against the History professor Ratan Lal of Delhi University’s Hindu College for posting provocative content.

Police had 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.

The DU professor Ratan Lal had allegedly posted derogatory content along with the latest picture of Shivling that was found at the Gyanvapi mosque.

The complainant, a Delhi-based advocate, Vineet Jindal, had written to the Delhi Police over the “instigating and provoking statement”.

“Our Constitution provides every citizen with the freedom of speech and expression but the misuse of this right is inexplicable when it threatens the honour and harmony of the country and provokes its citizens based on community and religion and threatens the security of the nation then it is considered as a grave offence,” Jindal told IANS.

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.

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