Delhi-based freelance journalist, Prashant Jagdish Kanojia, has been booked for allegedly making objectionable remarks on social media against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, reported The Times of India.
BJP leader Shashank Shekhar Singh, son of late SP MLC Ajit Singh, had complained to the Aashiana police on Tuesday, after which the cops registered a case against Kanojia. The FIR was registered on the charges of defamation, printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory, circulating mischievous comments and obscenity under the Information and Technology Act, said Beenu Singh, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Cantonment.
TOI reported that Singh in his FIR stated, “On Sunday night, I was browsing tweets on coronavirus. Suddenly, I noticed the profile of one Prashant Kanojia. Kanojia had posted photo of the prime minister and made a derogatory comment.”
In one tweet, Kanojia had posted a photo of the PM along with a derogatory statement and in another tweet, he had posted objectionable remarks against CM Adityanath.
However, this isn’t the first time Kanojia has been booked. He was once earlier arrested by the Lucknow police for making objectionable posts against CM Adityanath. At the time, he was released on bail by the Supreme Court after journalists and his supporters held protests against his arrest in various parts of the country.
The FIR against Kanojia comes days after the Uttar Pradesh police had booked a senior journalist, Siddharth Varadarajan, editor of The Wire over his comments on Twitter claiming that the day the Tablighi Jamaat event was held in Delhi, CM Yogi had insisted that a Ram Navami fair would take place as usual.
The FIR registered at the Faizabad Kotwali police station under Section 188 (disobeying an order duly promulgated by public servant) and 505(2) (statements conducing to public mischief), referred to one tweet by Varadarajan which said, “On the day the Tablighi Jamaat event was held, Adityanath insisted a large Ram Navami fair planned for Ayodhya from March 25 to April 2 would proceed as usual and that ”Lord Ram would protect devotees from the coronavirus”.
In his second tweet, Varadarajan had written, “I should clarify that it was Acharya Paramhans, Hindutva stalwart and head of the official Ayodhya temple trust, who said Ram would protect devotees from coronavirus, and not Adityanath, though he allowed a public event on 25/3 in defiance of the lockdown and took part himself.”
Reacting to the FIR, Varadarajan had said that it was politically motivated and a blatant attack on the freedom of the press.