Activist and independent journalist Prashant Kanojia was arrested once again from his Delhi residence on Tuesday by Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with an FIR filed in Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station over a “controversial” tweet.
In a complaint filed by inspector Dinesh Kumar Shukla from Hazratganj police station, he referred to the tweet by Kanojia where the latter had allegedly shared a “morphed picture” displaying the message ‘shudras and people from the SC, ST communities won’t be allowed to enter the Ram temple’ alongside the logo of Hindu Army and picture of the outfit’s leader Sushil Tiwari. Kumar further alleged that this was done with an intention to harm Tiwari’s reputation.
The FIR stated: “Such controversial posts promote enmity among different communities, disrupt social harmony and hurt religious sentiments, which can lead to disturbance in peace.”
Kanojia has been charged under Sections 153A, 153B, 420, 465, 468, 469, 500, and 505 of the IPC as well IT Act.
The arrest has drawn flak from Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad who took to Twitter and said, “The arrest of Bahujan journalist Prashant Kanojia is a testament to the dictatorial attitude of the Uttar Pradesh government. Now, the government has a problem with even writing and people raising their voice. Emergency is fast approaching us.”
This is the third time the UP Police has registered an FIR against Kanojia based on his social media post.
It should be noted that in 2019, Kanojia was arrested for sharing a video of a woman who claimed that she had been video-calling chief minister Yogi Adityanath and that she wanted to marry him. A police official from Hazratganj police station had filed a complaint in the matter back then as well and Kanojia was charged under Section 66 of the IT Act and Section 500 of the IPC.
He was arrested in April for “objectionable tweets” against PM Narendra Modi and CM Adityanath.
However, the Supreme Court had ordered his release in June.