A case has been filed against renowned Urdu poet Munawwar Rana by a sub-inspector at Lucknow's Hazratganj police station on Monday after Rana allegedly stood in support of the beheading of a French school teacher Samuel Paty, reported NDTV.
On October 16, Paty was decapitated outside his secondary school in a Paris suburb by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee Abdoullakh Anzorov days after Paty took a class on freedom of expression in which he showed caricatures of Prophet Muhammad from the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo to his students. These were reportedly the same caricatures which led to the 2015 terror attack on Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters.
On Saturday, Munawwar Rana allegedly stood in support of the beheading and said, "Agar abhi koi shaksh mere baap ka cartoon koi aisa bana de ganda, mera maa ka cartoon koi aisa ganda bana de to hum toh usko maar denge (If someone makes an offensive caricature of my father or my mother then I will kill him)."
Speaking to Zee News, Rana added, "Agar koi hamare Hindustan main hamare kisi devi-devta ka, maa Sita ka, ya bhagwan Ram ka aisa koi cartoon bana de ki ganda ho, toh hum usko maar denge (If in India someone makes an offensive caricature about our Gods and Goddesses then I will kill him)."
Meanwhile, according to the sub-inspector at Lucknow's Hazratganj police station, Rana's statements can lead to enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and lead to a disruption in public order.
Rana has been booked 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), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 505 1B (Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility) of the IPC along with sections of the Information Technology Act, an Indian Express report said.
However, speaking to NDTV, Rana said that his comments were taken out of context. "My statement was just this that whoever made the cartoon was wrong, whoever killed someone was even more wrong, this was my statement. But what people make of it I cannot say. My statement was in the context that spreading this fanaticism in the name of religion is not right," the 67-year-old poet said.