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Support pours in for Indian rationalist forced to live in Finland fearing arrest


Sagarika Ghose,CNN-IBN
Dec 05, 2012 at 09:56am IST

New Delhi: Support has started pouring in for Indian rationalist Sanal Edamaruku, has been forced to live outside India as he fears an arrest back home. He has been accused of hurting religious sentiments and an FIR has been registered against him in Mumbai. Edamaruku spoke to CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose via Skype and said he had to leave India or else he would've been arrested without bail.

Questioning Agnelo Fernandes who filed the FIR against Sanal Edamaruku, singer and musician Vishal Dadlani said, "In a free nation a man who has shown you very clearly what the truth is, how can you penalise this person? What gives you the right to penalise a person who has just spoken the truth? Jesus himself was a man who told the truth in circumstances where people like you penalised him. More than you answering this question, I would like you to find the answer within your conscience because what you have done is a terrible thing. It is a disservice to the nation.

ALSO SEE Indian rationalist stays in Finland fearing arrest for hurting religious sentiments

Mumbai based author Naresh Fernandes added, "I think, we are increasingly coming to a position where people are claiming to be offended for things we have no reason to be offended by. A democracy requires that we listen to other people's view point."

"Article 295A should not be in existence at all because our Constitution tells us that it is a duty of every citizen to spread rationalist thought and scientific thought. So when you have something like 295A and if I say or some other rationalist says that he is an atheist, you know, someone can take offence that, you know, file a case against you under 295A. So this article should be abolished," journalist Gauri Lankesh said.

Edamaruku says he will never apologise for something that he has scientific evidence for. In March 2012, when water started dripping from a cross at a Mumbai church, locals called it a miracle. Edamaruku checked the area and established that the miracle was just a plumbing defect and the source of the dripping water could be a sewage line running close to the cross. The rationalist was accused of blasphemy and an FIR was registered against him by the catholic christian secular forum (CSF) and The Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum. Under section 295(A) of the IPC, it's a non-bailable offence.

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