RANCHI – A 19-year-old woman arrested in Jharkhand’s Ranchi last week for sharing a controversial post on Facebook, allegedly against a community, was granted bail on Tuesday on the condition that she would distribute five copies of the Quran to the complainant and different libraries across the city.
Richa Bharti was arrested last Friday after a complaint by a local Islamic organisation, which accused her of putting up an objectionable post and “disturbing communal harmony”.
The district court of Judicial Magistrate Manish Kumar Singh granted her bail on the unusual condition that she distributes the Quran within 15 days of her release and submits the receipts in court.
“She has been granted conditional bail. The condition is that she will go and give a copy of the Quran to the local Anjuman Islamiya (the organisation), and she will take the receipt. The rest of the copies of Quran will be distributed to four libraries. She will have to submit all five receipts within 15 days,” a lawyer told NDTV.
Richa Bharti, a third-year student at Ranchi Women’s College, said she was “hurt” by the court’s condition and defended her post.
“To write about our own gods is not wrong. It’s not like that I had intentionally hurt their religious sentiments. I had not written that post; I had only copied and pasted the text,” she said.
“Such posts also come from the other side, but they are not told to recite Hanuman Chalisa and go to temples,” she added.
Her arrest has caused resentment among the Hindu groups in Ranchi, and some organisations even took out protest marches.
Richa Bharti’s family is planning to appeal against the verdict before the High Court. The court order has drawn sharp reactions and has stirred a debate on social media.
“This is a strange judgment. I have not read the judgment yet. But as it is being reported in media, I have not heard anything of this kind in the history of India,” BJP leader Pratul Shahdev was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.