The Uttar Pradesh police arrested journalist Prashant Kanojia on Tuesday from his residence in Delhi, for posting tweets related to Ayodhya's Ram Mandir that 'disrupted communal harmony'
Initially, the police did not make it clear as to which tweet they were referring to. But later, the FIR registered against Kanojia at Hazratganj Police station pointed to a deleted tweet URL. According to the FIR, Kanojia's tweet had a picture of Hindu Army leader Sushil Tiwari with a caption that said the Ram temple in Ayodhya should not allow Dalits, STs and OBCs entry, reported The Wire.
Earlier, Tiwari had posted an image demanding Vedic studies to replace Islamic studies in UPSC.
Whereas, in the image posted by Prashant, the background was the same but the text was different and read that No Shudra, SC, ST or OBCs will be allowed inside Ram Mandir.
Speaking to the media, Kanojia's wife Jagisha Arora informed that the police had come half an hour before the arrest and that the order had been given by the upper hand.
"Almost all of them were wearing civilian clothes, only one cop was in police uniform. While arresting Prashan they said, 'Tweet ka maamla hai.' (This is regarding tweets) When I asked them which tweet are they talking about, they said, 'Bohot tweet kiye hain tumney, upar se orders aaye hain humein, follow toh karna padega (We have received orders to arrest to you, will have to follow)."
Jagisha also tweeted about her husband's arrest.
पत्रकार प्रशांत कनौजिया को यूपी पुलिस ने उनके दिल्ली वाले आवास से गिरफ्तार किया.— Jagisha Arora (@jagishaarora) August 18, 2020
Kanojia is a journalist with the Transcontinental Times and was formerly with The Wire. This is the third time UP Police has registered a FIR against Kanojia in connection with a social media post. Earlier, Kanojia was arrested for tweeting about Chief Minister Adityanath, however, the Supreme Court had asked the government to release him.
Prashant was booked under several sections including Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (punishment for forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 500 (punishment for defamation), 500 (1)(B) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility), and 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code and 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.