Mangaluru: 24-Yr-Old Youth Arrested For "Trolling" Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy On Facebook
A 24-year old youth, Prashanth Poojary was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Karnataka police on Saturday after he posted an ‘abusive’ meme against Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy on Facebook.
Poojary, the accused, is the administrator of a group which goes by the name ‘Kudla Trolls’ on Facebook. Only a few days after the State budget was announced, a picture was posted on the page, which showed a woman asking “Who is this?” while pointing a finger towards a picture of Kumaraswamy. The image below showed the reply to her question which was a common abusive word in English, as reported by The News Minute.
According to The Indian Express, the police got alerted only after the post started doing rounds on social media, including Instagram. Later, the DCP Uma Prashant informed the Mangaluru east police station, following which a suo motu case (the police filed the case on their own accord) was registered on Thursday. On Saturday, the accused was arrested.
“The post was derogatory in nature and could have instigated riots. Hence, we registered a suo motu case and arrested Prashanth. The post was taken down but there were a lot of fans of the Chief Minister who were getting inflamed because of the post. Also, the comment section was filled with abuses and threats,” said a CCB officer.
While investigating the page, the police found several other political posts, of which the latest ones were criticising the State budget announced by the CM.
Reportedly, Poojary, a native of Kudla, is booked under section 153 (wantonly causing provocation with intent to cause riot) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC.
The police further added that action would be taken against those who have made derogatory comments about Mr Kumaraswamy under Poojary’s post, as reported by The Hindu.
The Logical Indian take
Fake news, morphed photos and misinformation are the critical areas where the attention of the state machinery should be at. However, when a political leader is trolled or mocked, then the whole administration springs into action and even arrests people on a suo-motu basis. There is a thin line between defamation and satirical criticism, and defaming someone is an offence but this should not be at a cost of restricting the freedom of speech and expression which is enshrined in the Constitution.