Kathua: FB user in row over 'call for violence'

People participate in a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, in Mumbai. REUTERS

Amid outrage over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, a new media writer from Kerala has found himself at the centre of a controversy for tracing a political, Sangh Parivar-linked context in the killing.

Deepak Sankaranarayanan, a popular voice on social media, is being targeted by Sangh supporters for reportedly calling for violence against people who voted the BJP to power at the Centre in 2014.

Deepak, a Bengaluru-based IT professional, had posted on Facebook that the Kathua rape and murder was not an act of 10 criminals but of 10 people who had the backing of 31% of India’s electorate.

Justice should prevail even if it means that the 31% who voted for Hindu terrorism is eliminated, he wrote, on April 12.

"Democracy belongs to the individual, the citizen. The number of people on the other side in inconsequential," he wrote.

The post set off a series of abusive, threatening responses with many terming it a call for violence against those who had merely engaged in a democratic process.

The online attacks also spilled on to official social media pages of the company Deepak works in, with people pointing out to the employers that he has called for "mass killing" of people who voted for the BJP.

Deepak has since removed the controversial post and said "serious misunderstanding" and "deliberate efforts and misinterpretations" had led to the online outrage.

"Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning 'Let justice be done though the heavens fall'. The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realised regardless of consequences, and I cited an example of that consequence," he said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Stating that he believed in democracy, Deepak clarified that he was only citing "an extreme case as an example" and said he was withdrawing the post, regretting the possible misunderstanding it caused.

Deepak has found support on social media where the troll attacks are also termed a hate campaign, orchestrated due to his earlier, anti-Sangh political positions.

Messages of support, tagged #SolidarityWithDeepak and #SupportDeepak, are being widely shared on social media. Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac is among those who have backed Deepak.

"Those who fail to understand (or pretend to have failed to understand) the essence of the post – defeat the collective support the Sangh is enjoying in India which has pushed the country to the many problems it faces today, including majoritarian communalism – are behind the propaganda that Deepak has called for violence," Isaac said.

 

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