A 21-year-old group administrator of instant messaging service WhatsApp is behind bars here for the last five months, following an alleged objectionable message posted in the group by a member.
A 17-year-old boy from Talen town of Rajgarh district in Madhya Pradesh allegedly posted an anti-national message on the WhatsApp group on February 14, Talen police station in-charge Narmada Prasad Dahima said on Monday.
Some people took strong objection to it and filed a police complaint.
"Acting on the complaint, the police summoned the boy and the then group administrator, Raja Gurjar," Dahima said.
However, Gurjar left the WhatsApp group soon after.
Two more members then became administrators as per the sequence of their membership, but they also quit the group subsequently.
"Finally, Junaid Mev became the group administrator as per the policy of the social media platform," a family member of Mev claimed.
On February 14, the police registered a case against the boy who had posted the objectionable message and Mev under various IPC sections, including 124A (sedition) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class), and the Information Technology Act.
Both were subsequently taken into custody, Dahima said.
The 17-year-old boy was sent to a remand home, while Mev is in jail since then.
Mev's brother Mohammad Fakhruddin alleged that Mev was suffering due to the police's laxity in conducting a proper investigation in the case.
Mev, a second-year B.Sc student who is also pursuing a course from the Industrial Training Institute (ITI), missed all his exams because of the alleged wrong confinement, he said.
As Mev was charged with sedition, he was unable to get bail even from the high court, Fakhruddin added.
"Because of the police's laxity in the probe, an innocent person is behind bars," he alleged.
Fakhruddin said he will file a complaint in the matter with the officials concerned.
Sarangpur's Sub-Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) Prakash Mishra said the matter was pending in court and so far, nobody had complained to him about any wrong action by the police.
In case a complaint was filed in the matter, the police would probe it, he added.