Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. DH file photo.
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was on Thursday booked by police following a complaint against him for reportedly hurting the sentiments of the Muslim community by giving "provocative" statements on Ayodhya issue.
"The complaint against the spiritual guru, who has been trying for a solution to the Ayodhya dispute through mediation, was filed by Salahuddin Affan, secretary of Hyderabad-based Darsgah Jihad-O-Shahadat (DJS)," police said.
In the complaint, Affan claimed Ravi Shankar gave "provocative" statements against the Muslim community over the Ayodhya row with an intention to hurt religious feelings and beliefs of its members, he said.
The complainant alleged that the 61-year-old had stated that "if the court rules against a temple (in Ayodhya), there will be bloodshed in the country and India will have a Syria-like situation".
This statement was given with an intention to disturb communal harmony in the country, Affan said.
However, Sri Sri had on March 6 clarified that he had cited Syria just as an example.
"It was a point of view, and not threat. There is no point in giving a threat. I cannot imagine it even in my dreams. We want peace, and an atmosphere of harmony... I feel that the situation which is prevailing in other countries should never arise in our country. We are working in those countries," he had told reporters at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
Ravi Shankar has been booked under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), police said.
A similar complaint was also registered against him with the Saidabad police station, another police official said.
Ravi Shankar has met a number of community leaders as part of his efforts to find an out-of-court settlement to the vexed Ayodhya issue.
"There is a lot of goodwill and cooperation from the Muslim community (in resolving the issue)," he had said recently.