Delhi Police say they have registered two preliminary complaints, including one pertaining to Nupur Sharma, on the basis of social media analysis.
Police in New Delhi have filed a complaint against a suspended spokesperson for India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for "inciting people on divisive lines" on social media.
Many Muslim nations have condemned Nupur Sharma's remarks on Prophet Muhammad during a heated TV debate, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government facing a diplomatic backlash.
Delhi Police said on Thursday they had registered two preliminary complaints — known as first information reports — on the basis "of social media analysis against those trying to disrupt public tranquillity & inciting people on divisive lines".
"One pertains to Ms Nupur Sharma & the other against multiple social media entities," the department said on Twitter, without specifying what posts triggered the complaint and what the entities were.
Even as Notices are being sent to social media intermediaries for details of those behind these accounts/entities, #DelhiPolice appeals to everyone to desist from posting anything that may disrupt social and communal harmony.#DelhiPoliceCares— Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) June 9, 2022
In India, the filing of a complaint is the first process in any police investigation and is typically followed by questioning of the accused.
Sharma did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent via a Twitter direct message. A BJP spokesperson did not answer his phone.
The BJP has suspended Sharma and asked its spokespeople to speak more responsibly in public. Another spokesperson, Naveen Kumar Jindal, has been expelled over comments he made about Islam on social media.
Tensions erupted in the country last week and unrest was reported in some parts after Sharma's comments against the Prophet.
The controversy also snowballed into a diplomatic challenge for Modi, who in recent years has cemented strong ties with energy-rich Islamic nations.
Following backlash from Muslim nations, India's ruling party suspends official over derogatory comments about Prophet Muhammed pic.twitter.com/ouyUXhgSLo— TRT World (@trtworld) June 8, 2022
Leaders from countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan demanded apologies from the Indian government after the anti-Muslim comments.
As calls grew for a boycott of Indian products in Gulf countries, the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said in a statement that the insults came in the context of an increasingly intense atmosphere of hatred towards Muslims in India.
India's foreign ministry said on Monday the offensive tweets and comments did not in any way reflect the government's views.
On Sunday, Sharma said on Twitter her comment on the Prophet was in response to "continuous insult and disrespect" towards a Hindu god during the TV debate, but that she had withdrawn her statement.
Many Indian TV stations regularly host debates on communal issues where Muslim and Hindu speakers shout at each other.
Pakistan's, Jamaat-e-Islami party, has called for a protest march in Islamabad to the Indian embassy on Thursday against Sharma's remarks.