Jain Monks Harassed By Uttarakhand Youth, Special Task Force To Investigate Case

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A YouTuber has been accused of harassing two Digambara Jain monks in Uttarakhand. The police have formed a Special Task Force to look into the case after a video of the interaction went viral, a senior police official said on Tuesday.

In the purported video, the accused, identified as Suraj Singh from the state’s Tehri Garhwal district, is seen asking the monks several questions about their practice of not wearing any piece of clothing. He is accused of pestering them with questions like, “Why do you move in public without any clothes?” Singh is also heard saying he was seeing such a thing in Uttarakhand for the first time 

The interaction took place beside a road. At the beginning of the viral video, the monks answer a few of his questions. However, as he goes on, they eventually decide to not entertain him further and leave.

Digambara is one of the two principal sects of Jainism. Digamabara monks do not wear clothes because of their beliefs. These monks believe that clothes lead to attachment, and that is the reason why they neither wear nor possess any. 

Singh reportedly streamed the interaction live on his social media handle. As it kicked up a controversy, a case was registered against Singh on the orders of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. Uttarakhand Director General of Police (DGP) Abhinav Kumar told news agency PTI that the accused YouTuber had been booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

Abhinav Kumar added that Uttarakhand respects the beliefs of the followers of all religions, and that the viral video has hurt the sentiments of the Jain community. No disrespect to any religion can be tolerated, he said.

However, some social media users have jumped to Singh’s defence, saying he is being criticised on the basis of a partial clip that has gone viral. They have posted another clip where the monks as well as others are seen discussing the traditions of the faith with Singh, and answering all his questions.



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