Ramcharitmanas Page Burning: UP Police File FIR Against SP Maurya and Others

Ramcharitmanas Page Burning: UP Police File FIR Against SP Maurya and Others

After an OBC group burned copies of excerpts from the Ramcharitmanas, the Uttar Pradesh Police said on Monday that it had identified 10 persons in a FIR, including Swami Prasad Maurya, the head of the Samajwadi Party.

On Sunday, the Akhil Bharatiya OBC Mahasabha organized a demonstration in the Vrindavan Yojana neighborhood of this city, ostensibly in support of Maurya, who had said on January 22 that the Hindu epic had parts that were biased towards women and lower castes.

The organization said that its members only destroyed photocopies of Ramcharitmanas pages that they felt contained "objectionable sentiments about women and Dalits."

The complaint by Satnam Singh Lavi, who claimed that the act of burning the "Ramcharitmanas" posed a danger to peace, led to the case being filed at the PGI police station here, they added.

According to police officials, the FIR was filed under a number of IPC sections, including 142 (illegal assembly), 143, 153A (wanton vilification or attacks against the religion, race, place of birth, residence, etc.), 295 (injuring on defiling place of worship), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), and 298 (uttering words with the deliberate intention to would religious feelings).

Devendra Pratap Yadav, Yashpal Singh Lodhi, Satyendra Kushwaha, Mahendra Pratap Yadav, Sujit Yadav, Naresh Singh, SS Yadav, Santosh Verma, and Saleem are also mentioned in the FIR with Maurya. The FIR also makes reference to "others," who are not named.

Devendra Pratap Yadav, an office bearer for the Akhil Bharatiya OBC Mahasabha, said, "It is false to imply that we burned copies of the Ramcharitmanas as reported in a segment of the media. We removed photocopies of the offensive statements made by the Ramcharitmanas against "shudras" and women, and we burnt them as a show of protest. Tulsidas, a poet associated with the Bhakti movement in the 16th century, wrote the epic poem Ramcharitmanas, which is written in the Awadhi language and is based on the Ramayana.

A prominent OBC politician in Uttar Pradesh named Maurya caused a stir when he claimed that several lyrics from the Ramcharitmanas "insult" a sizable portion of society based on caste and called for them to be "banned." Prior to the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Maurya, a cabinet member in the BJP administration, had left his position and joined the Samajwadi Party.

Earlier on January 24, a police report (FIR) was filed at Hazratganj police station against Maurya for his divisive comments on the Ramcharitmanas.

Shivendra Mishra, a resident of Lucknow's Bazar Khala neighborhood's Aishbagh region, filed a complaint, leading to the registration of the case.