JALANDHAR: A Jalandhar-based property dealer has been arrested for circulating jokes on Sikhs.
ACP R P S Sandhu said Atul Mehta was arrested after he was booked for hurting religious sentiments and under the IT Act. Complainant Narinder Singh said Mehta had first sent him a derogatory message about the Sikh holy book on WhatsApp on August 15.
“I objected to it, but he sent me a few more. This was followed by 15 jokes ridiculing Sikhs and showing the community in a poor light,” he said. Singh said he was forced to complain against Mehta. “I called him (Mehta) up after he sent these jokes and went to meet him to explain that these were in bad taste and had hurt my sentiments, but he wasn’t available,” he said.
“Such jokes are coined and sent with malice, reflect a communal mindset and are aimed at ridiculing the community. They are not at all humorous.”
Chirnjiv Singh, a local Shiromani Akali Dal leader, said it was important to draw a line somewhere.
“The jokes should not be aimed at Sikhs or any other community. I have seen members of a community start coining jokes about another group, and the vicious cycle goes on.”
Separately, Sikh outfits have warned they will file complaints against those sending jokes ridiculing the community.