Prashant Bhushan booked for tweet on anti-Romeo squads

Prashant Bhushan. Prashant Bhushan.

Police in Lucknow on Sunday registered an FIR against Prashant Bhushan who in a tweet against the new UP government’s anti-Romeo squads mentioned Lord Krishna, saying he could be seen as “a legendary Eve teaser”. The complaint against Bhushan was registered by UP Congress spokesperson Syed Zeeshan Haider at Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station. In Delhi, BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Bagga also registered a complaint against Bhushan at Tilak Marg police. No FIR has been lodged in Delhi yet. Bhushan, who is a leader of the Swaraj Abhiyan party, said in his first tweet on Sunday: “Romeo loved just one lady,while Krishna was a legendary Eve teaser.Would Adityanath have the guts to call his vigilantes AntiKrishna squads?”

The anti-Romeo squads of the UP Police were formed to check harassment of girls and women after the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government assumed office. Critics of the move alleged that the police action had led to undue harassment of young couples. Hours after putting up the first tweet, Bhushan clarified that he had not meant to hurt religious sentiments.

“My tweet on Romeo brigade being distorted. My position is: By the logic of Romeo Brigade, even Lord Krishna would look like eve teaser,” went the second tweet. He added: “We have grown up with legends of young Krishna teasing Gopis.The logic of Romeo squad would criminalise this.Didnt intend to hunt (sic) sentiments.” Later in the evening, Bhushan put up a snapshot of a picture of Krishna and Radha on his Twitter page, which he said was displayed in his home. “Tho I am not religious, my mother was.I grew up listening to the folklore of lord Krishna in childhood. Painting of Radha-Krishna in our home,” he wrote.

However, Bhushan has been charged by the Lucknow police with IPC sections related to hurting religious feelings and promoting enmity between different religious groups.

In his complaint, Congress’s Haider said Bhushan had made an “undignified” remark about Krishna by comparing him with Romeo. “Lord Sri Krishna is a source of inspiration for not just Hindu brothers, but the whole humankind. This comment has hurt the sentiments of crores of people. This is also an offence,” he said. On Bhushan’s “offensive” tweet, UP BJP spokesperson Manish Shukla said, “It simply reflects his narrow mindset. The tweet has hurt the sentiments of billions of devotees of Lord Krishna.”

Bhushan’s party Swaraj Abhiyan said the tweet was a satire. Its spokesperson Anupam said the tweet meant that the way the anti-Romeo squads were working, they could raise questions on every relationship between a man and woman.

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