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Two SP employees receive NSA from the UP police for destroying copies of the Ramcharitmanas.

Mohd Salim and Satendra Kushwaha were charged with violating the National Security Act (NSA) on Sunday after being initially arrested for allegedly destroying copies of Ramcharitmanas excerpts.

A video of Salim and Kushwaha destroying copies of the Ramcharitmanas went viral on January 29.

On the basis of a complaint by Satnam Singh Lavi, who claimed that the act of burning copies of the Ramcharitmanas posed a threat to peace, a case was then filed against five people: Satyendra Kushwaha, Yashpal Singh Lodhi, Devendra Pratap Yadav, Suresh Singh, and Mohd Saleem.

The group asserted that its members only destroyed photocopies of Ramcharitmanas pages that they felt contained ‘objectionable sentiments on women and Dalits.’

The IPC sections 142 (illegal assembly), 143, 153A (wanton vilification or attacks against the religion, race, place of birth, residence, etc.), 295 (injuring on defiling place of worship), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), and 298 (uttering words with deliberate intention to wound religious feelings), among others, were used to charge these accused in the past.

Swami Prasad Maurya, the head of the Samajwadi Party, caused a stir when he claimed that certain portions from the Ramcharitmanas ‘insult’ a sizable portion of society on the basis of caste and called for its ‘banning.’

Tulsidas, a member of the Bhakti movement, wrote the epic poem Ramcharitmanas, which is based on the Ramayana. It is written in the Awadhi language.

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