Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the arrest of journalists for sharing and broadcasting alleged derogatory comments against Adityanath, saying the UP CM is behaving foolishly and he needs to release the arrested journalists.
Gandhi also said that it was foolish of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to have gotten journalist Prashant Kanojia arrested for allegedly defaming the state chief.
Taking to Twitter, he said, “If every journalist who files a false report or peddles fake, vicious RSS/BJP sponsored propaganda about me is put in jail, most newspapers/ news channels would face a severe staff shortage. The UP CM is behaving foolishly and needs to release the arrested journalists.”
If every journalist who files a false report or peddles fake, vicious RSS/BJP sponsored propaganda about me is put in jail, most newspapers/ news channels would face a severe staff shortage.
The UP CM is behaving foolishly & needs to release the arrested journalists. https://t.co/KtHXUXbgKS
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 11, 2019
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of Kanojia. The court was hearing a petition by Kanojia’s wife, challenging his arrest. She moved the Supreme Court on Monday.
ALSO READ: SC orders immediate release of journalist Prashant Kanojia arrested for post against UP CM
Prashant Kanojia, a freelance journalist, was arrested from his Delhi home on Saturday morning and sent to jail in the evening for sharing a post on the UP chief minister. Subsequently, four people, including the woman, were also arrested on charges of posting allegedly objectionable content about Adityanath.
The journalist had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside Yogi Adityanath’s office, claiming that she had sent him a marriage proposal.
Kanojia was booked under sections 500 (defamation), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code and section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.
The police action against Kanojia had also sparked outrage in media circles. The Editors Guild of India had criticised the arrest as ‘authoritarian misuse of laws’.