The Hyderabad Police on Monday filed a case against a journalist for allegedly insulting devotees of lord Ram and hurting the sentiments of Hindus with a cartoon on her Facebook page, reported the Hindustan Times. The complaint was lodged by Hindu Sanghatan president and advocate Kashimshetty Karuna Sagar.
The Saidabad Police are yet to send a notice to Swathi Vadlamudi. On April 10, Swathi had posted the cartoon on her Facebook page in protest against the recent rape cases in Kathua and Unnao. In the cartoon, Sita is seen telling lord Ram, “I am glad, I was kidnapped by Ravan and not by your bhakts”.
In the Unnao case, a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, is accused of raping a teenager in June 2017. In Kathua, eight people are accused of abducting, sedating, repeatedly raping and murdering an eight-year-old in January. Two BJP ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet resigned after their participation in a rally organised in support of one of the accused led to massive outrage. The cartoon went viral on social media with thousands of people sharing it on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
“There is nothing wrong in expressing her anger at Kathua incident and in fact, we, too, share her feelings,” said complainant Sagar, according to the Hindustan Times. “But where is the need to draw Hindu gods into the incident? How does it bring justice to the rape victims? Assuming that a Hindu had committed the crime somewhere in Kathua, how is it justified to blame millions of devotees of Lord Rama?”
Swathi said it was her fundamental right to express her views. “The cartoon has received thousands of likes and comments appreciating my expression,” she told Mumbai Mirror. “At the same time, it also received a lot of vulgar, cheap and abusive comments against me in different social media platforms. Now, somebody has filed a case against me. I am yet to get any notice.”
Saidabad Police Inspector K Sattaiah said he had asked Sagar to produce evidence against the accused. “We shall send notices to the accused and then proceed with the case legally,” he told the Hindustan Times.
Telangana Union of Working Journalists President Allam Narayana and Secretary Kranthi Kiran condemned the case against the journalist. “It is nothing but infringing upon the freedom of expression of a journalist,” they said. The Child Rights Association also supported Swathi.