The police arrested a youth named Zakir Ali Tyagi from Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh for changing his Facebook display picture (DP) to that of a martyred policeman. He was booked under IPC Section 420 of the Indian Constitution.
Who was the martyred policeman?
The photo that Tyagi had uploaded was of Akhtar Ali, a slained UP police officer. Akhtar was killed during a police raid after an encounter with goons in Dadri region in UP.
According to the SHO of Muzaffarnagar Kotwali police station, there was no complaint against the accused. The police arrested Ali based on his Facebook activities.
Terming the arrest of Tyagi as a baseless case, senior cyber law expert Pawan Duggal said that Section 66A of IT Atak is no longer in the book of law. No one can be arrested under this.
According to Duggal, Section 66 of the IT Act does not apply in this case. Section 420 also does not appear in this case as it is necessary for someone to be duped with fraudulent practice. There is no sufferer in this case.
Duggal says that it may be a case of identity theft but for such a case, someone first needs to register a complaint against him.
Tyagi was very active on Facebook and used and it has been found that he had shared a lot of posts on Facebook criticising the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
In a recent incident, Zakir had commented on a post on social media that if Ganges river is’ living human entity’, then in case of any person drowning, will a case be prosecuted for Ganga?’ His comment was pointed towards the recent Uttarakhand High Court verdict that accorded the status of “living human entities” to the Ganga and Yamuna, two of India’s most sacred rivers.
A hashtag #IStandWithZakirAliTyagi is being run on Facebook.
Many from the Muslim community have started a campaign against this action of UP Police. Youth have started putting up the profile picture of the martyred police officer as their Profile picture in order to protest against this action.
After Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, several youths have been arrested due to activities on social media.
Most of the arrested youth are from the minority community.
The Logical Indian condemns the arrest of the youth for apparently no good reason. Actions like these cause a major blow to a democracy where the discourse of free speech and expression are censured and fair debates are objected.