Hyderabad: The Saidabad police have registered a case against a journalist and a cartoonist for drawing and circulating a cartoon expressing anguish over the recent rapes in Kathua and Unnao. In the cartoon, Sita tells Rama, “I am glad I was kidnapped by Ravana and not by your bhakts.”
In response, activists of the Hindu Sangathan lodged a complaint with the Saidabad police seeking action against Swathi Vadlamudi, who drew the cartoon and posted it on Facebook, where it went viral.
Malakpet ACP K. Narsing said a case has been registered and facts are being verified. The police are yet to question Vadlamudi. Sangathan president and advocate K Karuna Sagar said he initially lodged a complaint against Ahmed Shabbir, following which a case was registered by Saidabad police under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code.
“While browsing through Twitter, I noticed a post by Ahmed Shabbir, a journalist from Hyderabad, who posted the picture with a caption reading, ‘This is a slap on the face of bhakts', which was offensive and hurt the sentiments of Hindus,” Karuna Sagar said in his petition.
"On April 15, Karuna Sagar filed one more complaint, stating that the cartoon was actually sketched by journalist Swathi Vadlamudi, who first shared it on social media. He requested that her name be included in the FIR, which was initially registered on April 13. Further investigations are on and action will be initiated only once they are complete," said Saidabad police inspector Sattaiah.
Vadlamudi has already begun drawing support from journalist associations in Telangana and also from NGOs like Balala Hakkula Sangham, a child rights association, which has condemned “the attack on a citizen's fundamental right”.