MP: FIR against four over controversial book being taught in govt law college; ABVP stages protest

PTI, Dec 3, 2022, 8:00 PM IST

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Indore: An FIR was registered on Saturday against the author and the publisher of a book, which has been taught at a government-run aw college in Indore, along with its principal and a professor on charges of promoting enmity between different groups and hurting religious feelings, police said.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has alleged the book, ”Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System”, contains very objectionable content against the Hindu community and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which encourages religious fundamentalism.

The First Information Report (FIR) was registered following the complaint lodged by a student of Government New Law College, and hours after state Home Minister Narottam Mishra directed Indore’s commissioner of police to register a case after conducting a probe in 24 hours into the contents of the book.

”An FIR has been registered against Dr Farhat Khan, author of the book titled ‘Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System’, Amar Law Publication, principal of the institute Dr Inam Ur Rahman, and professor Mirza Mojiz Baig.

”They are booked under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code,” said Bhawarkuan police station in-charge Shashikant Chaurasia.

Before the registration of the FIR, ABVP activists staged a protest and raised slogans against the book on the premises of the Law College. A heavy police force was also deployed.

ABVP’s college unit president Dipendra Singh Thakur said Farhat Khan’s book contains ”very objectionable content against Hindu community, RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, and Durga Vahini”. He said the book has been ”promoting religious bigotry” and has been taught to students in the college library for the last five years.

The book was removed from the library by the college management quickly after controversy, he said.

On the other hand, Hitesh Khetrapal of Amar Law Publications, the Indore-based publisher of the book, said, “The first edition of this book was published in the year 2015. ”When we came to know about its controversial parts in 2021, we discussed it with its author Dr Farhat Khan and got the related pages of the book changed,” he said.

According to Khetrapal, the book’s author has already submitted a letter of apology regarding the disputed portions of her book.

Meanwhile, the college’s principal Dr Inam Ur Rahman resigned from his post amid the controversy. Higher Education Department’s Additional Director Kiran Saluja said the principal in his resignation letter sent to the department’s commissioner said he is ”hurt” by the agitation of the college students and unknown people from outside and was leaving the post.

On ABVP’s allegation about religious extremism being promoted in the college, Saluja said, ”We could not talk to students due to continuous sloganeering and uproar in the college. The investigation into these allegations will start probably from Monday”.

The controversy erupted on Thursday when ABVP activists went on a rampage claiming some teachers of the institute were promoting religious fanaticism among the new students and propagating negative things about the Union government and the Army. After the protest, the college principal said he removed six professors from academic work for five days and decided to investigate the allegations by a retired district court judge.

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