UP, Karnataka Police Book Persons for Criticisms of Adityanath: Curbs on Free Expression

The Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday arrested a man from Noida for allegedly posting an “objectionable” picture of the newly elected Chief Minister Adityanath on his Facebook wall, PTI reported. The vigilante group formed by the Yogi himself, Hindu Yuva Vahini, registered a complaint on the basis of which the UP police was prompt to act.

Freedom of Expression

Rahat Khan, 22, was accused of posting the image and adding objectionable comments to it. The picture in question had a morphed image of the chief minister with a caption saying “Yogi hai, ya bhogi hai”, reported Hindustan Times.

Khan was arrested under Sections 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. Khan’s mother said her son was being framed by the land mafia who had hacked into his Facebook account and posted the content. She added that the Khan family has been involved in many social service activities. “We [the family] won applauds from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raising the issue of triple talaq,” she told the English daily.The Supreme Court has struck down this controversial section of the IT Law.

The incident comes days after a woman in Bengaluru was booked for “objectionable” Facebook posts against Adityanath. A complaint had been filed by the Yuva Morcha members of the Bharatiya Janata Party under various sections of the IT Act.
Clearly, sections of the Indian police, regardless of whether the states are ruled by the BJP like in UP or Congress as in Karnataka treat some persons as special, and the long arm of the law is used to stifle critical comments or satire.



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