New Delhi: The Delhi police picked up five people late last night based on a complaint that they had not clicked the ‘Like’ button to their Facebook friend’s status message: ‘God is great’,
The five people face charges of ‘committing acts leading to social sacrilege and communal disharmony.’
The complainant, whose name was given as Ajay Aloysius Afsal, had stated that the arrested five persons had deeply hurt his religious sensibilities, as they had not ‘liked’ his Facebook message.
‘In India, it is a rule, firmly laid down in the Constitution, that the other person, even while remaining the other person, has to respect my religious sentiments,’ Ajay Aloysius Afsal said and added ‘imagine the hurt that my feelings would have suffered when my Facebook status message ‘God is Great’ went unresponded by the five’.
‘These five are generally the first people to ‘Like’ whatever I post on my FB page. They had given the famous ‘thumbs up’ symbol to even messages like ‘Today I am a proud member of the association, Bappi Lahiri is the Beethoven of Bollywood,’ Ajay Aloysius Afsal said.
‘It is an act of sacrilege in itself for your friends to not respond to your FB message. And this becomes case of blatant blasphemy that the ignored message happened to carry your views on God,’ Ajay Aloysius Afsal pointed out in his complaint.
Following the complaint, and considering the severity of the issue, the Delhi Police, along with the crack NSG commandos, in a mid-night storming operation, picked up the five while they were sleeping in their residences.
The five were booked under the various sections of IPC, CrPC, IT Act, the Explosive Substances Act of 1908 and the Sivaji Ganesan School of Overact (1964). (The last named is a draconian law, and is used in non-bailable offences.
According to sources in the Delhi police there was a prima facie case for using the word prima facie in this case. The sources also said: ‘Not liking the message ‘God is great’ amounts to deep insult of all believers irrespective of their caste, creed, community, religion and banian size’.
‘India is a secular country, by which it is meant, you have to put up with every God, and not disown even one of them. Also, the Indian Constitution unequivocally states that every man has the inviolable right to follow any religion, and feel every other religion to be offensive,’ the police sources added.
The Delhi police later produced the five in the court and sought a month of custody of the five to conduct ‘intense investigations’. The police have also seized the computers, laptops, mobile phones, eyeglasses, computer tables and chairs of the five. It is learnt these ‘material evidences’ —- things used by the accused while committing the alleged crime —- will help the police to deepen the probe and lead to prosecution of the five when the case reaches the trial stage.
Meanwhile, the arrested five, whose names were not released taking into consideration their privacy, were, however, allowed to give separate interviews to the waiting TV crews at the court.
This is the quick summation of what each one had to say on why he did not press the ‘Like’ button to the message ‘God is Great’:
The first accused: “How can I ‘Like‘ a message that simply reads ‘God is Great’ when my religion explicitly and secularly says: ‘Only My God is Great’.”
Second Accused: “God is Great”. Provided he too is against abortions and gay marriage.
Third accused: God is Great? Which of the 47089 ones in our pantheon are you talking about?
Fourth Accused: I am an atheist. We atheists adhere to the simple and rational message: ‘There is no God. So worship Periyar’.
The fifth accused: How can I ‘Like’ a message when, leave alone Facebook, I have trouble getting on to the internet itself. If God is indeed great, he better make my Airtel broadband work.
(Disclaimer: The whole idea of this piece is not to hurt anyone. The purpose is actually to hurt everyone)