Saket Gokhale re-arrested, Mamata Banerjee slams Gujarat police & Election Commission

Late night on Thursday, December 8, Trinamool national spokesperson, Saket Gokhale was re-arrested and reportedly taken to an undisclosed destination after he had secured bail from a metropolitan court

Saket Gokhle

Late night on Thursday (November 8), the Gujarat police re-arrested Trinamool Congress spokesperson Saket Gokhale in a case related to his tweet about the Morbi bridge collapse tragedy.

Gokhale had, on December 1 tweeted a news clipping about information purportedly obtained through the Right to Information claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Morbi after the bridge collapse cost Rs 30 crore. The TMC spokesperson, a former Congress RTI activist and son of a retired police officer, was granted bail after he was produced before the court in Ahmedabad on Thursday following the completion of his police custody but was soon arrested in another case registered by Morbi police.

The Trinamool Congress had stated that it has sent a three-member delegation to Morbi, after the development. “BJP4Gujarat’s nefarious agenda is out again,” it tweeted. “Our National spokesperson @SaketGokhale was arrested again moments after his release by the Gujarat Police, with no good reason.”

Alleging that all people’s democratic rights are under threat, the TMC has sought Saket Gokhale’s “unconditional release”. TMC leader Derek O’Brien has accused the Election Commission of India of “looking away” while BJP leaders spread communal messages before the state polls, but pointed out that the police was quick to act on the charges against Gokhale. “No wonder SC thinks EC is a stooge,” he stated. His remarks gain prominence as the second case against Gokhale has been filed by an election officer.

“RTI reveals that Modi’s visit to Morbi for a few hours cost Rs 30 cr. Of this, Rs 5.5 cr was purely for “welcome, event management, & photography,” Gokhale had tweeted. On Tuesday, the Press Information Bureau tweeted a ‘fact check’ saying the information was fake. The news clipping appeared to be from a local Gujarati newspaper.

An FIR was registered against Gokhale on the charges of forgery and printing defamatory content and he was arrested on December 6. After he was granted bail on Thursday (December 8), the Morbi police re-arrested him in a case under the Representation of People Act. This second case, according to the Times of India, was filed by an election officer in Morbi, D.A. Jhala.

The prime minister had visited Gujarat on November 1, a day after a suspension bridge – just reopened after repairs – on the Machchu river in Morbi town collapsed, leaving 135 people dead.

On December 6, 2022 Gujarat Police detained Saket Gokhale, the national spokesperson for the Trinamool Congress (TMC), for allegedly promoting a fake news story concerning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Morbi in response to the October bridge collapse tragedy.

According to those with knowledge of the situation, Gokhale has been arrested by the police on suspicion of uploading on Twitter a “false RTI reply” detailing the millions of rupees the government spent on PM Modi’s visit to Morbi in Gujarat.

As reported by the PTI, the Indian Penal Code Sections 465, 469, and 471 (all of which deal with forgery) and 501 (printing or engraving materials known to be defamatory) were the basis of the FIR, according to police.

Gokhale’s arrest was allegedly the result of a “political vendetta” according to the Trinamool Congress (TMC). TMC national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien provided more information about the arrest in a tweet. On December 5, Gokhale boarded a flight from New Delhi to Jaipur at 9 p.m. When he arrived, the Gujarat Police was waiting for him at the airport in Rajasthan, where they picked him up. According to O’Brien, Gokhale called his mother at 2:00 am on December 6 to inform her that he was being taken by the police to Ahmedabad and would arrive there by noon.

The TMC spokesperson said on Twitter that the police had taken his phone and all of his things after allowing him to make a two-minute phone conversation. “The cooked up case is filed with the Ahmedabad cyber cell about Saket’s tweet on the Morbi bridge collapse. All this cannot silence the All India Trinamool Congress and the Opposition. BJP taking political vendetta to another level,” he alleged.


Is Saket Gokhale being selectively targeted for spreading ‘fake’ news?




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