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Gujarat: 2 Clerics arrested over a social media post, detailing rituals of animal sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha 

Two days after arresting a cleric in Amod, Bharuch for a social media post that was alleged to potentially “provoke breach of communal peace,” the Bharuch District Special Operations Group (SOG) announced on Tuesday that another arrest has been made in the case.

Vice-president of Darul Uloom Barkat-e-Khwaja in Amod, Shabbir Ali Patel, was detained on Tuesday for writing a post which was later circulated by Maulvi Abdul Rahim Rathod. 

On Sunday, June 17, Rathod was also charged on charges of “promoting enmity” ” due to the post he shared describing the Islamic “ritualistic procedure” for animal sacrifice. 

Darul Uloom translates to “house of knowledge” in Arabic.

The objectionable post was made just before Eid ul Adha, which was celebrated across the country on Monday.

According to the police, Patel was involved in drafting the objectionable post and passing it on to Maulvi Abdul Rahim Rathod, stating that the post could “provoke breach of communal peace.” 

“The accused, Maulvi Rathod, has engaged in an act that could offend the religious sentiments of Hindus and disrupt religious harmony between the Hindu and Muslim communities. The investigation revealed that Shabbir Ali wrote the message titled ‘Process of Qurbani’ some time ago and gave it to Rathod to circulate on social media. Consequently, Patel was booked and arrested late Monday night,” the SOG stated in a press release.

The arrests were made based on a First Information Report (FIR) filed by sub-inspector RA Aswar.

The clerics have been charged under sections 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups), 295(A) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as under the IT Act.

Speaking to Indian Express, Bharuch Superintendent of Police Mayur Chavda had stated, “We are constantly monitoring cyberspace and have zero tolerance for any attempts to disrupt peace in the district… We have also been holding Shanti Samiti meetings, where we have specified what we are monitoring in cyberspace.” 

“The post made by the Maulvi was inciting in nature as it explicitly mentioned cow slaughter. We took action before any situation could arise. In fact, the Maulvi posted an apology after the first message because he was aware that the police were after him,” said Chavda. 

While the case is lodged at Amod police station, officials have requested people not to circulate posts that hurt the religious sentiments of people of any faith.

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