The Uttar Pradesh police on Wednesday arrested three Muslim men for social media posts about the land dispute between local Hindus and Muslims in Baghpat district’s Barnawa town.

Abrar, Asif and Saqib — all in their early 20s — were booked under sections 295A (outraging the religious feelings) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code. The three men are residents of Barnawa.

On February 5, a Baghpat court had decided on a 53-year-old lawsuit pertaining to 25 hectares of land in Barnawa and handed it over to the Hindu petitioners. They claimed that it had been the site of an episode from the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

The Muslim petitioners alleged that the property, which has a Sufi tomb and a graveyard, had been encroached by local Hindus.

A police official at the Binauli police station told Scroll that the three men had put up provocative posts on Facebook after the court order. The police are also the complainant in the FIR, the official added.

Mehboob Alvi, a member of the Baghpat district panchayat, visited the Barnawa police chowki yesterday to inquire about the arrests. He said that according to the police, the social media posts mentioned how Muslims first lost the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, then the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, followed by the Sufi shrine in Barnawa.

Abrar Khan, a social worker in the town, said that the social media posts also asked when the Muslim community would “wake up”.

Both Alvi and Khan said that they have not seen the Facebook posts themselves.

Dainik Jagran reported on Thursday that the three men had “posted three photos on their Facebook profiles” under which “objectionable comments were written”.

Khan said that the men were picked up from their homes by the police on Wednesday afternoon and the FIR was lodged at night. “Saqib runs a chow mein shop in the town and Asif and Abrar are daily wage workers,” Khan added.

Police officials were stationed at the disputed site on Tuesday while local Hindus arranged a religious ceremony in a gurukul situated inside the property, Hindustan reported.