A company representative has been arrested at Sadar Bazar here for allegedly selling offensive 3-D pictures of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The pictures, which have been seized, were purportedly imported from China.
The matter came to light when, following a tip-off this past Wednesday, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Vichar Manch general secretary R.L. Kain reached the outlet allegedly run by Raj Kumar Jain, who was said to be an authorised representative of Dhru International that has its office on the second floor of a building at Main Sadar Bazar. “I got the information about the pictures from a resident of Mathura and a Delhi University student,” said Mr. Kain.
“The sacrilegious 3-D pictures, presenting Dr. Ambedkar’s popular facsimile photographs in one shade, represented a barking dog in another shade and this has hurt the sentiments of people especially members of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Buddhists. Soon after I purchased 50 pieces of those pictures, I called up the Police Control Room.”
The police seized 822 pieces of the objectionable 3-D pictures and arrested Mr. Jain under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class…) of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 3 and 12 of the Press and Registration of Books Act.
The accused disclosed that he had purchased 1,000 such pictures from another dealer, who had imported them from China.
Mr. Kain said the accused was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Chhavi Kapoor at Tis Hazari Courts the next day. “Defence counsel argued that Dhru International had not sold any material to the complainant and he had no proof of any such transaction, [and] that the dealer had no mens rea (guilty mind). During the argument on Friday, defence counsel also said the accused had not manufactured the pictures but bought them from another dealer, for which he could not produce any documentary proof.” The offence also attracted provisions of the National Security Act for import of an objectionable material that has hurt sentiments of the people, added Mr. Kain.
The accused was sent to judicial custody after the court rejected his bail application.
The Manch plans to send a memorandum to the Union Home Minister and the Delhi Chief Minister seeking a CBI inquiry into the case considering that the objectionable material was being imported from abroad.