The complaint accused the couple of uploading “several objectionable posts” related to Kashmir and mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police, Akash Kulhary, has asked the station officer how an FIR was registered against an assistant professor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and her husband on charges of promoting enmity for their Facebook posts.
An FIR was registered against Huma Parveen, an assistant professor in the Mass Communication department of AMU, and her husband Naeem Showkat, who belongs to Baramulla in Kashmir, at Gandhi Park police station in Aligarh on Tuesday on a complaint filed by Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha leader Ashok Pandey, who had accused the couple of uploading “several objectionable posts” related to Kashmir and mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The FIR was lodged under IPC 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 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes).
Notably, the complainant, Ashok Pandey, was arrested and jailed earlier this year, on charges of promoting enmity after a video of him and other workers of Hindu Mahasabha recreating the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi went viral on social media on January 30. They were observing the day as ‘Shaurya Diwas’ and were seen shooting Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait with an air gun.
“I have asked on what basis the FIR lodged was lodged against the AMU assistant professor and her husband. I have spoken to the Station Officer (SO) and he told me that he had received a complaint of around 22 pages of the Facebook posts of the assistant professor and her husband. I have also asked the Circle Officer (CO) on what basis was the FIR lodged when it did not come to me or any senior officers. We are conducting an investigation. If the content (of the social media posts) is found to be worthy of (imposing) IPC section 153A, then we will file the chargesheet. Else, we will file the final report in the case,” SSP Kulhary told The Indian Express.
“If the complainant (Pandey) has filed a false complaint, then we will lodge a case against him under IPC section 181 (false statement on oath or affirmation to public servant or person authorised to administer an oath or affirmation),” the SSP said, adding that they have not issued a notice to either the assistant professor or her husband yet.
Asked if the police conducted a preliminary probe before lodging the FIR, the SSP said that except in cases under IPC section 419/420 in which documentary evidence is there, the FIR is lodged based on the complaint. “This case went directly to the police station and the Station Officer lodged the FIR. Along with the complaint, he also gave 20-22 pages of Facebook posts of the assistant professor and her husband,” he said.
In the complaint, Hindu Mahasabha leader Ashok Pandey has alleged that Facebook posts of Huma Parveen and her husband encouraged terrorism in Kashmir. “I saw on Facebook that Showkat and Huma’s profile have several objectionable posts and some related to Kashmir issue… They also mock the Prime Minister. These posts are encouraging terrorism in Kashmir and are discouraging the armed forces. Showkat’s posts that ‘toilet is on your mind’ and ‘Kashmir is an encounter site’ are very objectionable. Huma’s post that ‘loss of communication can be dangerous and painful, whether it is Chandrayan or Kashmir” is also objectionable. It is clear from her posts that she does not consider Kashmir to be an integral part of India.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Parveen, who has been teaching in the university since 2013, said, “The complainant has most probably misunderstood my posts. I have never posted anything on social media that may hurt the sentiments of any person or incite any person or group. Most of my posts are shared by me and not written by me, but none of them is hurtful to anyone.” Her husband was unavailable for comment.
Source: The Indian Express