Saturday, February 24, 2024

Chhattisgarh headmaster sent to jail for speech ‘asking people to follow Buddhism, not to believe in Hindu gods’

The headmaster of a school in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district, who encouraged following Buddhism and discouraged belief in Hindu gods during a gathering, was arrested on Sunday on charges of hurting religious sentiments.

Ratanlal Sarovar, 60, allegedly made the speech at Mohtarai village in Ratanpur, on January 22, the day of the consecration ceremony at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

In his speech, he asked those gathered to follow Buddhism.

Sarovar told police that he was asking people to follow the teachings of B R Ambedkar and that he is a Hindu, but believes in the teachings of Ambedkar, Indian Express quoted a police officer as saying.

A video of the speech was later uploaded to YouTube, after which a Hindutva man Rupesh Shukla approached the local police with a complaint. Shukla complained that the speech hurt the sentiments of the followers of Sanatan Dharma.

Sarovar was also suspended by the district’s education department.

“Based on the complaint, an FIR has been registered against him under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class),” said Ratanpur police station in charge, inspector Devesh Singh Rathore.

Sarovar is currently in jail.

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