Chennai police, on Friday, arrested a bakery owner for insulting and hurting the feelings of a religious community in his advertisement. R1 Mambalam station Inspector S Balamurali arrested Prasanth (27), the owner of Jain Bakeries and Confectioneries, on Friday, when the former chanced upon an advertisement on WhatsApp that could incite communal disharmony.
The bakery functions out of a house on Mahalakshmi Street in T Nagar, Chennai. According to the police, the advertisement was circulated by the owner on WhatsApp groups for people belonging to Jain communities, to take orders.
In addition to listing out the confectionaries, the advertisement also had a declaration in bold: â€śMade by Jains on orders, no Muslim staffs (sic)â€ť. The advertisement is not only offensive to the Muslim community but stigmatises the religious group.
The message drew a lot of flak from social media users.
Jain Bakeries and Confectioneries owner was arrested for advertising his store with a tagline 'no Muslim staffs'.â€” | (@Its_DineshKumar) May 10, 2020
Islamophobia must be weeded out like this before it takes root.#Muslimphobia_In_India pic.twitter.com/IX7kwjBE4c
Utterly despicable. More critically it is discriminatory and unconstitutional. Shame on you Jain Bakery. Alert @chennaipolice_ on this criminal act by Jain Bakeries & Confectioneries. https://t.co/pZEovcf7UHâ€” Sukmm (@TheIndiaThatWas) May 8, 2020
When the advertisement, bearing the bakery's contact details, was circulated on WhatsApp groups by the owner, it became viral on social media and eventually caught the attention of Inspector Balamurali. Following this, he decided to take appropriate action.
â€śHe operates a home bakery and the advertisement was circulated on WhatsApp group for people from the Jain community in Chennai. He would receive orders on the app and would bake the items at home and then deliver. When the advertisement came to my knowledge and I took suo motu action,â€ť he told TNM.
The owner has been booked under sections 295(a) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion) and 504 (intentionally insulting, and thereby provoking any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Inspector also added that the man is currently out on bail.