In a sarcastic Twitter attack against Yogi Adityanath, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister is ‘behaving foolishly’ and he must release Prashant Kanojia, the freelance journalist who was arrested over alleged defamation charges. “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,” Gandhi said on micro-blogging site. “The UP CM is behaving foolishly & needs to release the arrested journalists,” he added. Gandhi was reacting to a media report over the journalist for which the Congress said that, “Detaining a journalist for sharing a video that presents a State official in poor light is illegal & arbitrary and violates the principles our nation is founded on.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will today hear the plea of the journalist’s wife. Kanojia was arrested for sharing a video of a woman claiming to have a relationship with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. In the petition, she claimed that necessary legal guidelines were not followed by the police during her husband’s arrest, therefore, it was illegal.
Kanojia was arrested for allegedly sharing an objectionable post against Yogi Adityanath on social media, triggering nation-wide condemnation of the police action. An FIR registered against Prashant Kanojia by sub-inspector Vikas Kumar at Hazratganj police station on Friday alleged that he made "objectionable comments against the CM and tried to malign his image".
Kanojia had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside the CM office claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to the UP chief minsiter and that the two used to talk through "video conferencing".
In the last three days, the Uttar Pradesh police has arrested four people for allegedly trying to defame the Uttar Pradesh chief minister on social media. In the latest arrest that took place on Monday, a man from Yogi Adityanath's home constituency Gorakhpur, has been arrested for allegedly trying to malign the Adityanath's image on Twitter.
On Sunday, a private television news channel head and its editor were on Sunday remanded in 14-day judicial custody for allegedly broadcasting defamatory content against Adityanath. The arrested duo were Nation Live channel head Ishika Singh and editor Anuj Shukla.
During a debate on the Noida-based news channel on June 6, a woman had allegedly made defamatory statements against Adityanath, according to officials. The police alleged that during probe they also found that the channel did not have any requisite licence to operate.