Goa: FIR filed against professor who labelled “Hindu Mangalsutra” as Chain of Dog

Mangalsutra is a symbol of ‘Suhag’ (a woman whose husband is still alive) and hence every married Indian woman wears it, but a Goa-based professor landed herself in controversy after she compared Mangalsutra to a dog chain.

The woman, who was identified as Shilpa Singh, made derogatory comments against women wearing Mangalsutra on Facebook. Her statement sparked outrage among women in the country.

The FIR was lodged against Shilpa Singh, who works as an Assistant Professor at a law college in Goa, for her social media post. The report was registered in Panaji Town police station based on a complaint filed by one Rajiv Jha, of the Rashtriya Hindu Yuva Vahini.

“The above noted accused person having a Facebook profile in the name of Shilpa Surendra Pratap Singh knowingly uploaded a post through the Facebook account in the public domain with deliberate and malicious intention outraged religious feelings of the complainant, thereby insulted religious belief, thus committed an offence under section 295 A IPC,” Zee News quoted the FIR as saying.

According to multiple reports, Singh has also lodged a complaint against Jha for threatening her. Even earlier, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student’s wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had approached Singh’s college against her posts which hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus. However, the college had reportedly said that the ABVP had no locus standi and refused to issue termination order.

Two FIRs have been registered by police on the basis of complaints filed by Rajiv Jha and Shilpa Singh. “Shilpa Singh has been booked under IPC section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings). Rajiv Jha, a resident of Ponda has been booked under IPC sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke break of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (insulting modesty of woman)”, told SP (North Goa) Utkrisht Prasoon.

“The above noted person having a Facebook profile in the name of Shilpa Surendra Pratap Singh knowingly uploaded a post through the Facebook account in the public domain with deliberate and malicious intention outraged religious feelings of the complainant, thereby insulted religious belief, thus committed offence under section 295 A IPC” , reads the FIR filed against Singh.

Rajiv Jha told the Indian Express that he and Singh are not Facebook friends but they have mutual friends. He said that after ABVP’s complaint against Singh, he saw her Facebook post. “I first approached Panaji police on October 28 and a written note asked that she should seek a public apology. Since they (police) didn’t react…we again went with a new complaint the next day (October 29)”, said Jha. “If she has thoughts (on religion), she should keep it to herself, and not publicise on social media. She is a professor; if this is what she writes here, I wonder what she must be teaching her students”, he added.

Calling herself an “intellectual”, Singh sought an apology on Facebook over her derogatory post on Mangalsutra. In her Facebook apology, she said that her views were taken out of context. She wrote, ” I wish to express my regret to my fellow women if any of my Facebook posts have hurt and offended them. I am aware that one of my Facebook posts was in the eye of the storm due to my personal views on Mangalsutra and Burqa and it was taken totally out of context”.

Dharam Sikarwar
Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.