Updated: Sat, 21 May 2022 04:32 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A Delhi court granted bail to Delhi University professor Ratan Lal on Saturday furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000 and surety on like amount. The associate professor of Delhi University was arrested on Friday night over his objectional social media post referring to the claims that a Shivling has been found inside the iconic Gyanvapi mosque complex. He was earlier today presented before the Tis Hazari court, which reserved its order on Lal's bail plea and judicial custody.
#WATCH | Delhi University's history professor Ratan Lal is being produced before Tis Hazari Court— ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2022
He was arrested on Friday regarding a social media post allegedly intended to outrage religious beliefs after the alleged discovery of Shivling inside Gyanvapi Mosque complex. pic.twitter.com/KincKtq9i2
Professor Ratan Lal, deputed in DU's Hindu College, was arrested by the Cyber Police Station, North, under the charges of 153A (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 295A (deliberate act to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion).
"A complaint was received against one Ratan Lal, Prof of History at Hindu College, DU, regarding a deliberate and malicious post on FB intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting a religion or religious beliefs," Deputy Commissioner of Police Sagar Singh Kalsi said.
An FIR was lodged against Lal on Tuesday night based on a complaint filed by a Delhi-based lawyer. In his complaint, advocate Vineet Jindal said Lal had recently shared a "derogatory, inciting and provocating tweet on the Shivling".
The statement made by Lal on his Twitter account is "instigating and provoking", he said in the complaint. The statement was posted on the issue of a 'Shivling' found in the Gyanvapi mosque complex which is very sensitive in nature and the matter is pending before the court, the lawyer said in his complaint.
Defending his post earlier, Lal had said, "In India, if you speak about anything, someone or the other's sentiment will be hurt. So this is nothing new. I am a historian and have made several observations. As I wrote them down, I have used very guarded language in my post and still this. I will defend myself."
Meanwhile, left-affiliated All India Students Association (AISA) activists on Saturday staged a protest outside Delhi University's Arts Faculty against the arrest of Ratan Lal. The student activists held placards that read: "Stop attack on our teachers", "Stop curbing democratic voices" and "Release professor Ratan Lal".
Students' Federation of India (SFI) & All India Students Association (AISA) protest & block the road outside Cyber PS, North District, over the arrest of Ratan Lal, History Prof at Hindu College, DU, regarding a social media post allegedly intended to outrage religious beliefs. pic.twitter.com/SByZwCwrEW— ANI (@ANI) May 20, 2022
There was a heavy deployment of police during the protest. Apart from the district police, four companies from an outside force, including women personnel, have been put in place, police said.
Gyanvapi Mosque, adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, is currently facing a legal battle. The Supreme Court on Friday had transferred the case to a district judge in Varanasi and said that the wuzukhana, where, as per Hindu parties' claims, a Shivling was found, be protected without any hindrance to the Muslim devotees coming for prayers.