Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad tweeted that the arrest of Prashant Kanojia, a Bahujan journalist was testimony to the dictatorial attitude of the Uttar Pradesh government and demanded arrested journalist’s immediate release.
Journalist Prashant Kanojia was picked up by Uttar Pradesh Police from his Delhi house on Tuesday.
Azad also said that the government was disturbed by people writing, reading and speaking, and compared the situation to the Emergency.
This is third time UP police has arrested journalist Prashant Kanojia.
The recent arrest is for allegedly posting a morphed tweet related to Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
An FIR registered at the Hazratganj Police station said that Kanojia “tweeted a morphed photo of a social media post made by Hindu Army leader Sushil Tiwari to spread hatred.”
The Facebook post by Tiwari demanded that Vedic studies should immediately replace Islamic studies in UPSC.
However, in the photo tweeted by Kanojia, the image and background looked the same but the text read: “No Shudra, SC, ST or OBCs will be allowed inside Ram Mandir.” Kanojia tweeted with the caption: “According to Tiwari’s orders.”
“Amazing! UP Police takes note of [deleted] Prashant Kanojia tweet which, by allegedly putting words in mouth of Hindu Army’s Sushil Tiwari, “disturbs communal harmony,” but won’t book Tiwari for [undeleted] socmed videos which directly disturb communal harmony!,” Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor at The Wire tweeted.
Arrested journalist’s wife said that Kanojia had deleted the tweet shortly after posting it as he had felt it was not the right thing to publish, according to The Wire.
The FIR against the former reporter at The Wire added several sections including Section 153A, 153 B, 420, 465, 468, 469 of the Indian Penal Code.
Earlier two times, UP Police has registered FIR against Kanojia in connection with hia social media pots.
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.
Kanojia was also arrested in April for “objectionable tweets” against PM Narendra Modi and CM Adityanath. The Supreme Court, later, had asked the government to release him. Many observed that Kanojia’s release by the Supreme Court could play an important role in future cases.
The Supreme Court had on June 18 last year used its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to order Kanojia’s immediate release.
The top court had criticized the Uttar Pradesh government for the “glaring illegality” of Kanojia’s arrest.