Sanatan Dharma row: Udhayanidhi Stalin, Priyank Kharge booked for 'hurting religious sentiments'

FIR registered in UP's Rampur

139-Udhayanidhi-Stalin Udhayanidhi Stalin

An FIR was registered in Rampur against DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's son Priyank Kharge for allegedly outraging religious feelings, police said on Wednesday.

Stalin was booked for his call to eradicate Sanatan Dharma and Kharge for backing his remark, they said.

The two were booked under sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings) and 153 A (promoting enmity between different religious groups) of the IPC at Civil Lines Police Station here on Tuesday.

The FIR came at the complaint of lawyers Harsh Gupta and Ram Singh Lodhi who highlighted media reports on Stalin's statement alleging that the politician's comments had hurt their feelings.

Stalin had on Saturday during an event in Tamil Nadu compared the Sanatan Dharma with diseases like dengue and malaria.

His comments sparked a backlash from political parties, with BJP insisting on the Congress to condemn his remarks.

In his address at a meeting of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association in Chennai last week, the DMK leader likened Sanatan Dharma to coronavirus, malaria and dengue and said such things should not be opposed but destroyed.

He, however, later claimed that he had not called for violence against the followers of Sanatan Dharma. "Sanatan Dharma is a principle that divides people in the name of caste and religion. Uprooting Sanatan Dharma is upholding humanity and human equality," he had alleged while reiterating his remarks against Sanatan Dharma, a term used by many Hindus to describe their religion.

Over 260 eminent citizens, including former judges and bureaucrats, have written to Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud urging him to take cognisance of the DMK leader's comments, calling it "hate speech." 

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