Incidents of anti-social elements trying to create communal rift are on a rise, says Bombay High Court
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Observing that the incidents of certain anti-social elements creating rift between two religious groups are on a rise, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any relief to a man, booked for creating enmity between Hindus and Muslims.

A bench of Justices Tanaji Nalawade and Mukund Sewlikar was dealing with a plea filed by one Afzal Khan, booked under the provisions penalising any attempt to create a rift between two religious groups and also to disturb communal harmony.

According to the prosecution case, Khan had shot a video of a man disallowing Muslim women in a local park. The video, alleged that the women were denied entry due to their attire (burkha).

The video went viral on two YouTube channels, having considerable subscriptions.

In his defence, Khan argued that he did nothing wrong but only highlighted the man, who was denying entry to women in the park. He claimed that he had good intention and thus highlighted the man's act of denying entry to Muslim women.

On the other hand, the prosecution questioned Khan's "intentions" and pointed out that instead of shooting the video and making it viral by uploading it on two YouTube channels, he could have had directly approached the police and lodged a case against the said man.

Having considered the contentions, the bench noted that the FIR was registered on the orders of a local Magistrate and that he didn't approach the police despite shooting the video of the incident.

"If Khan recorded the video of that incident and if he feels that some action needs to be taken against the person who was taking objection against Muslim women and was preventing them to enter the garden, he ought to have approached the police directly. The circumstance that he made the clip viral on two YouTube channels shows that he had no good intention," Justice Nalawade said in his orders.

"Apparently, his intention appears to be of creating rift between the persons of two religions," the judge added.

The judges noted that such cases are on a rise. "Such incidents are increasing day by day and some persons like Khan are trying to create rift between the persons of different religions. Due to this situation, this court holds that there is no ground to grant any relief to Khan," Justice Nalawade ruled.

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Free Press Journal