‘Community hurt, unwilling to relent despite apology published in the newspaper’
A First Information Report was registered under Section 295 A at Police Computer Wing, Cubbon Park PS in Bangalore and another FIR was registered at Dabeerpura PS in Hyderabad besides written complaints given in Police Stations in various cities across India against the leading newspaper The Times of India for allegedly publishing “derogatory, slanderous and blasphemous material against Ayatullah Ruhullah Khomeini, an eminent scholar, spiritual guide and leader of Muslims.” As per reports, several complaints through emails have also been sent to the Press Council of India against the newspaper.
A delegation of Ulemas also met the Mumbai commissioner Rakesh Maria and submitted a written complaint to him. Complaints were also made in Rein Bazar PS in Hyderabad by Moulana Agha Munawer Ali and others and by Maulana Adeel Raza and Maulana Azher in Manchalli PS in Alipur and in Pune. Likewise, certain Mumbai residents filed a complaint at Versova police station under the leadership of Sayyed Mohammad Fayyaz Baqir Husaini. Complaints were also given to police at Govandi and Dongri police stations in Mumbai. Meanwhile, chief qazi of Tamil Nadu also filed a complaint against TOI in Chennai.
The row erupted when The Times of India posted an article/slide show titled ‘Sex obsessed infamous leaders’, wherein they allegedly published “blasphemous and slanderous material about Imam Khomeini… alleging him to have sex with 4 years old child” and claiming that Imam Khomeini has allegedly declared that a man can have sex with young child, animals like sheep, cows and camels and he shall kill the animal after having sex. The article also had a photograph of Imam Khomeini in the backdrop. The article has since been removed from the TOI website which was followed by the newspaper publishing an apology.
The complaint sent to Press Council of India, the copy of which is available with RNI, says “the aforesaid acts of TOI of inciting hatred and hurting religious sentiments, maligning, tarnishing image of respectable, most revered, highly pious religious scholar is unwarranted and unacceptable in any breadth of imagination. Thus, stern action has to be taken in order to curb yellow journalism.”
When asked why issue was being made when the TOI has already published an apology and also removed the allegedly blasphemous article from its site, a cleric on condition of anonymity said that “the apology is not enough. And it is not the first time it has happened. How can they shamelessly say that Imam Khomeini had raped a 4-year old child? Imam Khomeini was one of the most pious persons that the world has seen in recent history and blaspheming against him cannot be tolerated.”
Another cleric from Hyderabad said stories like these are consequence of desperate Zionist propaganda post Iran-US nuclear agreement. India is particularly of great importance because Iran, which was put on sensitive list by the Indian government, is expecting removal from the list by the Indian authorities.
RNI News Bureau