Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Thursday said that the state police has arrested the author of a book who was charged with promoting enmity and hurting religious feelings, PTI reported.
Mishra was referring to Farhat Khan, who wrote the book titled Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System. The book was published by Amar Law Publications.
Khan was booked on December 3 after members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad had protested at the Government New Law College in Indore. The ABVP is the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Members of the ABVP had alleged that Khan’s book contains objectionable content against Hindus and Hindutva outfits such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal and that it was being taught to students since 2017.
ABVP members had alleged that the book talks about the emergence of “Hindu communalism as a destructive ideology”. The book also mentions that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindutva outfits seek to establish a Hindu-majority state and want to “enslave other communities”, they had claimed.
Besides Khan, the police had filed a case against Amar Law Publications, the principal of the college Inam Ur Rahman and a professor named Mirza Mojiz Baig.
The case was filed under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.
On Thursday, the Madhya Pradesh home minister said that Khan was arrested in Pune.
“The controversial writer, Farhat Khan, was arrested in Pune when she was undergoing dialysis in a hospital there,” Mishra told reporters, according to PTI.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajesh Kumar Singh said that teams were sent to several places in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra to trace Khan.
“On the basis of leads, we traced her to Pune and served her a CrPC [Code of Criminal Procedure] notice, as per which she was asked to cooperate in the probe and remain present in court at the time of submission of the chargesheet,” he said, according to PTI.
He added that the Indore-based author was suffering from a serious kidney ailment and needed dialysis on a regular basis.
Previously, Hitesh Khetrapal, a representative of Amar Law Publications, had said that the first edition of the book was published in 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 had said.