Richa Bharti gets bail over offensive Facebook post, court asks her to distribute copies of Quran

A local court in Jharkhand has granted bail to a college student, who was arrested for purportedly sharing offensive posts against a community on social media last week with a condition that she donate copies of the Quran. According to Hindustan Times, Richa Bharti, a graduation part three student in Ranchi was granted bail from the court of judicial magistrate Manish Kumar Singh. In his order, Singh also asked Bharti to contribute five copies of the Quran to the government-recognised educational organisations. The court also asked Bharti to present one copy of the Quran to complainant Mansur Khalifa.
According to the report, the complaint against Bharti was filed by Khalifa, a member of Sadar Anjuman Committee on July 12, 2019, at Pithoria police station. In her FIR, Khalifa stated that Bharti had posted an objectionable post on both Facebook and WhatsApp. Khalifa further stated that the posts may affect the communal harmony of the society.
Acting on the complaint, Pithoria police arrested Bharti and sent her to jail on Friday. The entire incident drew criticism from some right-wing Hindu organisations, who also held protests on Sunday demanding immediate release. However, the protest was withdrawn following the assurance given by the rural SP Ashutosh Shekhar that Bharti will be released.
Speaking to a local news channel later, Bharti said she was taken aback by the court order and refused to abide by the condition set by the court for her bail. “Today they are asking me to distribute Quran, tomorrow they will ask me to imbibe Islam. Even Muslims post objectionable remarks on social media, have they ever been asked to read Ramayana or Hanuman Chalisa for insulting the Hindu religion?” she told Zee Bihar Jharkhand.
A case was filed against Bharti following a complaint against her by Khalifa over a post on Facebook critical of another post on TikTok mentioning “revenge” for the death of Tabrez Ansari, the victim of the Jharkhand mob lynching incident. The court has asked Bharti to distribute copies of the Quran in the presence of officials and furnish acknowledgment slips before it within 15 days.
In a similar case on June 29, 2019, a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader was arrested for sharing an objectionable post on Goddess Durga on his Facebook page. The incident drew widespread anger among several Durga Puja committees and Hindu organisations. The incident took place at West Singhbhum district’s Chakradharpur town. However, the accused Bhuvneswar Mahato later apologised over sharing the post.
On July 14, 2019, the Coimbatore police had arrested Karnataka youth wing secretary of Rashtriya Hindu Mahasabha for sharing a provocative post on the social platform against a particular community.