Prashant Bhushan in row for invoking Lord Krishna for Uttar Pradesh anti-Romeo squads

New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Apr 02, 2017, 05:29 PM IST
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Prashant Bhushan later claimed his remarks had been distorted and he had no intention of hurting religious sentiments. Photograph:(Others)

Lawyer-politician Prashant Bhushan Sunday stoked a controversy with certain remarks on Lord Krishna while criticising the 'anti-Romeo' drive in Uttar Pradesh, following which he was booked for hurting religious feelings.

"Romeo loved just one lady, while Krishna was a legendary Eve teaser. Would (UP CM Yogi) Adityanath have the guts to call his vigilantes Anti-Krishna squads?" Bhushan tweeted.

As the controversy erupted, he tried to control damage by tweeting that his remarks had been distorted and he had no intention of hurting 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.

"We have grown up with legends of young Krishna teasing Gopis. The logic of Romeo squad would criminalise this. Didn't intend to hurt sentiments," he added in another tweet.

However, by then separate police complaints had been filed against him by Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Bagga in the national capital and UP Congress spokesperson Zeeshan Haidar in Lucknow.

Manzil Saini, Senior Superintendent of Police of Lucknow, said that they have registered an FIR against Bhushan under IPC sections related to hurting religious feelings and promoting enmity between different groups.

"The FIR has been registered against Prashant Bhushan under sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code. The FIR has been lodged at Hazratganj Police Station," the SSP told PTI.

Haider said he had lodged a police complaint against Bhushan for his indecent remarks on Lord Krishna, "who is revered across the world. This is not a question of Hindu or Muslim. The tweets of Bhushan have hurt sentiments of crores of devotees."

The Tilak Marg police in Delhi, where Bagga has lodged a complaint, is looking into the matter, a police official said, adding no FIR has been lodged yet.

The special anti-Romeo squads of UP Police were formed to check eveteasing after the Yogi Aditynath government assumed office last month, fulfilling one of the poll promises of the BJP. Critics have alleged that it has led to incidents of harassment.

Stressing that his government was firm on upholding the security and dignity of women, Chief Minister Adityanath had said the state-wide drive was launched to free public places of anti-social elements and check incidents of eve-teasing, indecent behaviour and passing of lewd comments at women and girls.

Bhushan is a leader of Swaraj India party, which he along with his associate Yogendra Yadav floated in October last year after being expelled from AAP.

Reacting to 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 not only in India, but across the world.

"He is the same Prashant Bhushan, who had once said that Kashmir is not a part of India. Hence, the need of the hour is to initiate stringent legal action against him."

BJP's National General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav said Bhushan should study the Indian epics before commenting.

Clarifying Bhushan's statement, Swaraj Abhiyan's spokesperson Anupam said the lawyer's tweet was a satire by which he meant that the way the anti-romeo squads were working, they could raise question over every relationship between a man and woman and with their logic, they could even term Lord Krishna as an eve-teaser.

Party member Yogendra Yadav said Bhushan meant to say that in the garb of controlling crime against women, it was wrong to term every relationship between a man and a woman as an offence.

He also said no case was made out against Bhushan for allegedly insulting Lord Krishna with his indecent remarks.