A former journalist at The Wire Hindi, Prashant Kanojia, was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police from his home in Delhi on Saturday afternoon for allegedly making “obscene comments” and "spreading rumours” on social media about UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
The head of a private television news channel and its editor too have been arrested in Noida for airing allegedly defamatory content on Yogi Adityanath, the police said.
News agency PTI reported that Delhi-based journalist Kanojia had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters outside the CM's office claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath.
A first information report (FIR) was registered against Delhi-based journalist Prashant Kanojia at Hazratganj police station on Friday night in which it was alleged that he made “objectionable comments against the chief minister and tried to malign his image”.
The charges against Kanojia include Sections 500 (defamation) and 505 (public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Information Technology Act.
The verified Twitter handle of Kanojia @PJkanojia said that he is alumnus of IIMC and Mumbai university and is associated with some media organisations.
Ishika Singh, who heads the channel and Anuj Shukla, its editor, were arrested following a police complaint against the news channel for broadcasting the claims of the woman without verifying facts, a senior official said.
The arrest invited condemnation on Twitter.
Siddharth Varadarajan, Founder Editor The WIre, termed the arrest "shocking"
Shocking for UP cops to arrest anyone for posting this news clip with a comment of his own. Adityanath perhaps doesn't know this woman and may consider the fact that Prashant took her claim of having video-chatted with him at face value 'objectionable'. But arrest is abuse of law https://t.co/A8wcfwnW5L— Siddharth (@svaradarajan) June 8, 2019
Prashant Kanojia shared a video and his comment was based on the claim made by a woman in that video. Interestingly, Yogi Adityanath and his government have nothing to say to or about the woman in the video. Just shooting the messenger. #FreePrashantNow— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) June 9, 2019
(With Inputs from PTI)