18/03/2016 2:30 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Two Youths In MP Arrested For Sharing A Morphed Photo Of RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or the National Volunteers Association chief Mohan Bhagwat offers prayers during a daylong camp on the outskirts of Pune, Maharashtra state, India, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. Hindus, make up more than 80 percent of India's population of 1.25 billion. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

KHARGONE, Madhya Pradesh: Two youths were arrested in Madhya Pradesh for sharing online a morphed image of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday. This comes almost a year after the Supreme Court brought the Internet within the contours of free speech by striking down the much-abused Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.

Shakir Yunus Banthia, a 22-year-old from Bhikangaon, and Vasim Shaikh, a 21-year-old from Khargone were arrested on March 16 for sharing the morphed image on WhatsApp and Facebook.

The morphed image combined Bhagwat’s torso with that of a woman’s body clad in brown pants.

As the photo went viral on social media, RSS and BJP workers registered a strong protest on the issue following which a case was registered against the duo in Bhikangaon police station.

The youths have been charged under sections 67 of the Information Technology Act and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code.

Section 67 relates to publishing obscene material in electronic form while Section 505(2) pertains to statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes. Both charges can lead to a maximum of three years’ jail.

The accused claimed that they had received the photo from some other group and they just forwarded it further, the ASP said.

Both Shaqir and Wasim were arrested and sent to jail by JMFC Sadashiv Dagode. The duo has been sent to judicial custody till March 30.

(With inputs from PTI)

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