Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar Gandhi has been booked for “hurting religious sentiments” by the Jalandhar Police on 11 May. The police took action after a BJP functionary objected to his remarks against freedom-fighter Bhagat Singh.
Tushar, who was in Jaipur recently, had allegedly said Bhagat Singh was “guilty of British rule, due to which Mahatma Gandhi had not asked for suspension of his sentence and Bapu did not approve of his violent acts”.
The case was filed under Section 295 A of IPC relating to “deliberate acts intended to hurt religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs”. The FIR against Gandhi said other nationalist organisations too had submitted complaints to the police commissioner.
Local BJP leader Krishan lal Sharma, chairperson, Jan Jagriti Manch and state convenor, BJP cultural cell, in his complaint on Sunday claimed Tushar termed Bhagat Singh an apradhi (criminal) as per a newspaper report and this has hurt religious sentiments of people.
Sharma claimed they were holding programmes in Bhagat Singh’s memory and this remark hurt their feelings. He demanded that a case be filed against Tushar or hurting religious sentiments.
When asked ACP north Amneet Kaundal said that they had registered the case as per the complaint received, which said that the remarks hurt “religious feelings”. “We have not gone into the religion and beliefs of Bhagat Singh,” she said. ‘Why I am an Atheist,’ is a popular article penned by Bhagat Singh.
There have been many cases when Bhagat Singh’s followers in Punjab have flayed Tushar in writings as well as speeches, but never has any complaint for “hurting religious sentiments” been filed.