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FIR lodged against Goa professor for comparing mangalsutra to chained dog

PANAJI: The Goa Police on Monday registered an FIR against Shilpa Singh, an assistant professor at a Law college in Goa for allegedly outraging religious sentiments with “deliberate and malicious intention.” Rajiv Jha of the Rashtriya Hindu Yuva Vahini’s Goa unit filed the complaint against the professor.

The complainant referred to a Facebook post by Singh, who teaches Political Science at Panaji’s VM Salgaocar College of Law, on April 21, in which she had challenged the patriarchy and dogma by comparing ‘mangalsutra’ to a “chained dog”.

Shweta Singh has also approached the officials for purportedly abusive and threatening message she is receiving after Jha’s post on October 30.

The development comes days after the college sent a written response to a complaint against Singh by ABVP, the students’ outfit of RSS, stating that it does not have a “locus standi” to raise objections about her teaching, and that no termination order will be issued against her.

The ABVP had complained that Singh promotes “socially hateful thoughts about a particular religion” and had sought her termination.

Jha also informed that he was aware of the “ABVP matter” but is not a party to it and that he filed the complaint in “personal capacity”.

According to reports, both complaints will be probed.

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Hours before the FIR was lodged, Singh had apologized on Facebook, writing that her words from the post were clipped and taken out of context.

“…I wish to express my regret to my fellow women if any of my Facebook posts have caused them hurt and offended them…. Since my childhood, I have been curious about questions about why we have exclusive marital status symbols for women and not for men in various cultures practices. It is depressing to see that a false opinion has been created about myself by my detractors – that I am an ‘anti-religion’ or a run-of-the-mill ‘god-hating atheist’. This is far from the truth… I see myself as an intellectual and for me, my criticism of a set of practices and dogma has little to do with my disdain or irreverence for religion or religious believers,” she wrote in a lengthy post.

Earlier, the ABVP wing of her college had demanded on October 19 that Singh be sacked within 24 hours, as she “promotes socially hateful thoughts about a particular religion, community, and group of people”. Verbally, they informed the college that they had clips from Singh’s online classes to first-year law students.

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