The Delhi police on Friday arrested 4 and a half lakh members of a Muslim community for distributing posters, calling for the arrest of the chief minister and demanding an inquiry into the “disturbs” the posters had caused in the city.
The posters, which the police have named as “disturbances”, were distributed by a Muslim organisation called the Muslim Women’s Forum (MWF) in the capital, which has an official membership of more than 40,000.
The poster reads “Sharia law and the death penalty will be mandatory for any Hindu woman who does not submit to her husband”, while another reads “Manslaughter will be punishable by death for any Muslim who beats his wife”.
The posters have been circulated across the country, with the biggest wave hitting Delhi and the eastern state of Andhra Pradesh, where more than 100 people were killed in a mob attack on a Hindu temple in December last year.
The MWF had issued a statement saying the posters were being circulated to “promote a ‘peaceful and tolerant’ atmosphere and to “ensure that the Muslim community is not divided and that they do not suffer”.”
These posters have no place in a democracy, and no place for freedom of expression.””
The posters are against Muslim law, and they are distressing to Muslim women.
These posters have no place in a democracy, and no place for freedom of expression.”
The posters were distributed through WhatsApp groups, and were handed over to the police for further investigation, the officer said.
“We will investigate this further,” he added.
The police, however, refused to reveal how many posters were found in circulation and where they were distributed.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” the officer told the newspaper.
The official Muslim Womens Forum, which also had a presence in other parts of the country including Gujarat, Maharashtra and Punjab, had earlier said the posters “disrespect Hindu women and their honour”.
It has also criticised the BJP government for failing to tackle the “incitement of hatred and communal tensions”.