An FIR was lodged against a Panaji Professor for allegedly outraging religious feeling through her Facebook post about mangalsutra. The complaint was registered by Rajiv Jha, member of Rashtriya Hindu Yuva Vahini's Goa unit.
Jha referred to Professor Shipa Singh's Facebook post of April 21, saying that she criticised the Hindu religion and dogma and allegedly mocked the practices by comparing 'Mangalsutra' to a 'chained dog'. Jha, in his complaint, stated that Singh should be booked 'for passing derogatory comments on social media mocking Hindu religion, traditions, faith and beliefs.'
Shilpa Singh teaches Political Sciences at Panaji's VM Salgaocar College of Law. She had approached the Police about receiving multiple threatening messages after Jha's social media post against her on October 30.
This development comes days after the college in support of Singh had sent a written response to the complaint raised by ABVP, students' outfit of RSS, on her teaching. The college clearly stated that the unit does not have a 'locus standi' to raise objections on her teaching and that they will not terminate her.
The ABVP on October 9, had complained that Singh promotes 'socially hateful thoughts about a particular religion' in her class. The group demanded her termination and gave an ultimatum saying there will be severe agitation and the group will take the matter further to Police if no action is taken within a week.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Jha said that he came across the post after ABVP's complaint and later lodged a complaint. He also confirmed that his complaint against Singh was at his capacity and was not in connection with the ABVP group.
Singh apologised on Facebook, hours before the complaint was filed, saying that her post was clipped and taken out of context. "I wish to express my regret to my fellow women if any of my Facebook posts have caused them to hurt and offended them. Since my childhood, I have been curious about questions why we have exclusive marital status symbols for women and not for the men in various cultures practices. It is depressing to see that a false opinion has been created about myself by my detractors – that I am an 'anti-religion' or a run-of-the-mill 'god-hating atheist'. This is far from the truth. I see myself as an intellectual and for me, my criticism of a set of practices and dogma has little to do with my disdain or irreverence for religion or religious believers but more to do with the inherent symbolism they represent in political and civil society of our country historically," Singh said.
FIR has been registered against both Singh and Jha, SP, Utkrisht Prasoon informed the media. Shilpa Singh has been booked under Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the IPC. Rajiv Jha has been booked under Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 509 (insulting modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.