The Lucknow Police on February 5 slapped the National Security Act (NSA) on Mohd Salim and Satendra Kushwaha, who were earlier booked in connection with burning copies of extracts from the Ramcharitmanas.
On January 29, a video of Salim and Kushwaha burning copies of the Ramcharitmanas went viral on social media.
The Lucknow Police has earlier booked 10 people for promoting enmity after members Akhil Bharatiya OBC Mahasabha allegedly burnt photocopied pages of Ramcharitmanas in Vrindavan, area of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The FIR was registered on a complaint lodged by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Satnam Singh Lavi.
The FIR has been lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
According to reports, the members of Akhil Bharatiya OBC Mahasabha burned “photocopies” of pages allegedly carrying “objectionable comments on women and Dalits” in Ramcharitmanas in support of Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya.
The group claimed that its members only burnt photocopies of pages allegedly carrying “objectionable comments on women and Dalits” in the Ramcharitmanas.
The accused named by Satnam Singh in his FIR are Yashpal Singh Lodhi, Devendra Yadav, Mahendra Pratap Yadav, Naresh Singh, SS Yadav, Sujit, Santosh Verma and Salim.
Swami Prasad Maurya had recently caused a row when he raised objections to certain verses from the book and termed them “against the women, backwards and Dalits”.
On January 22, the Samajwadi Party leader, while speaking to a news channel, said that Ramcharitamanas, written by Tulsidas in the 17th century, promoted social discrimination and spread hatred.
These accused were earlier booked under IPC sections 142 (unlawful assembly), 143, 153A (wanton vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence etc), 295 (injuring on defiling place of worship), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), and 298 (uttering words with deliberate intention to wound religious feelings) among others,
Meanwhile, Swami Prasad Maurya was appointed as the party’s general secretary on January 29 and is now a member of the National Executive. The 42-member National Executive of the Samajwadi Party includes president Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal Singh Yadav, who recently joined the party, Azam Khan, Swami Prasad Maurya, and others.
“Swami Prasad Maurya got his award for insulting the Shri Ramcharitmanas. The Samajwadi Party (SP) wants communal harmony to deteriorate in Uttar Pradesh and wants to create caste conflict. They will not succeed in their plan. Akhilesh Yadav’s anti-Hindu and casteist face is out in the open,” BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said.
On January 28, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav was shown black flags, when he participated in the Maa Pitambara 108 Mahayagya on the banks of the Gomti in Daliganj, as a mark of protest against Swami Prasad Maurya’s statement on Ramcharitmanas.
Meanwhile, on February 2, 2023, Shri Alok Kumar, Central Working President of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), sought an appointment with the Chief Election Commissioner of India and requested to cancel the registration of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD).
“VHP wishes to draw the attention of the CEC to Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act 1951 which requires that the memorandum of each registered political party to have a specific provision that the party shall bear true faith and allegiance including to the principles of secularism and democracy,” VHP said in a statement.
“The recent statements of Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Swami Prasad Maurya disparaging the Ramcharitmanas and the burning of its pages by his supporters are deliberate and malicious acts of outraging the religious feelings of a vast sections of the citizens of India.
The fact that Maurya has immediately after making the statements has been promoted to the office of General Secretary of the Party proves that his statement had the support of the whole Party,” the statement claimed.
Similarly, the statements made by Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) leader Dr Chadrashekhar demanding a ban on Ramcharitmanas and his deliberate and malicious criticism of Manas and other holy books is calculated to cause outrage and an attempt to create mistrust and division between different sections of Hindu society.
The RJD has taken no action against the said person as proving thereby that the statement has the Party’s support, he added.
The VHP refers to the controversy that sparked after Bihar Minister and RJD leader Chandrashekhar said that Ramcharitmanas “spreads hatred in society”.
The VHP statement also said that the SP and RJD had violated the basic conditions upon which the parties were registered and had become liable for the withdrawal of their registration. In a video statement, VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain also criticised both parties.
“These parties should not be given the opportunity to contest elections after creating animosity in the society and making use of political favours from it,” Jain said.