Rahul Gandhi, Congress scion, has condemned the arrest of three journalists for sharing objectionable content against the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Gandhi said the UP chief minister was ‘behaving foolishly’. The Congress described the arrests as ‘illegal’ and ‘arbitrary’.
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Five people, including Prashant Kanojia – a freelance journalist were arrested on charges of posting ‘allegedly objectionable content’ about the chief minister. Putting its foot down, the Supreme Court has ordered for the ‘immediate release’ of Kanojia on bail. His wife had filed a petition challenging his arrest. Reports say Kanojia was picked up from his Delhi home after a complaint by a police officer in Lucknow. NDTV said he had shared a video on the social media (Twitter and Facebook) where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organizations outside the CM’s office, claiming that she had seen him a marriage proposal.
Ishita Singh, from a private news channel Nation Live and its editor, Anuj Shukla were arrested in Noida, with two more arrests in UP’s Gorakhpur. A tweet by the police stated that a man was arrested after a complaint against him for posting objectionable content was received on Twitter.
In a tweet, Gandhi argued that if every journalist who files a false report or peddles fake, vicious RSS/BJP sponsored propaganda about him is put in jail, most newspapers and news channels would face a severe staff shortage. “The UP CM is behaving foolishly and needs to release the arrested journalists.”
The Congress party said detaining a journalist for sharing a video that presents a State official in poor light is illegal and arbitrary and violates the principles that India is founded on.