Bihar court summons Sonia Gandhi for Durga poster

May 22nd, 2008 - 6:26 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Patna, May 22 (IANS) A Bihar court Thursday issued summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and three others in a case related to allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Hindus. The court has asked Sonia Gandhi and the other three persons to explain their position June 26, 2008 either in person or through lawyers.

Fast track court judge V.K. Mandal in Muzaffarpur, about 70 km from here, Thursday issued summons to Sonia Gandhi after hearing the case related to a complaint of advocate Sudhi Kumar Ojha that her depiction as Hindu goddess Durga in a Congress party poster had hurt religious sentiments of Hindus.

Soon after the court issued the summons to Gandhi, who is also United Progressive Alliance chairperson, Ojha told IANS by telephone in chaste Hindi that it was a lesson for everyone, including powerful people like Sonia Gandhi, not to hurt religious sentiments of Hindus.

“Her depiction as Hindu goddess Durga hurt Hindus. She may not be aware as she is a Christian,” said Ojha.

“It was wrong to project her as a Hindu goddess. It should not have happened at all because it hurt Hindus,” said Ojha.

He filed a complaint against Gandhi and three others early this year in the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Muzaffarpur.

The court admitted the case March 25. The charges were made under three sections of IPC - section 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 295(A) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy).

Ojha, in his complaint, alleged that the Muradabad district Congress president in league with the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief put up the poster on the wall of the party’s Muradabad office June 21, 2007. Gandhi criminally conspired with them in this exercise, he alleged.

The poster with Gandhi as ‘Durga’ was beamed by television channels and photographs appeared in several newspapers that hurt the sentiments of Hindus, he alleged.

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