Social media war: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav protests over arrest of party’s IT cell member : The Tribune India

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Social media war: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav protests over arrest of party’s IT cell member

The complainant, office-bearer of BJP’s youth wing, was also booked by police

Social media war: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav protests over arrest of party’s IT cell member

Akhilesh Yadav. PTI file


Lucknow, January 8

A Samajwadi Party leader was arrested on Sunday for allegedly making derogatory remarks on social media following a complaint by an office-bearer of BJP’s youth wing that she had been threatened with rape and murder. The complainant was also booked by police after the SP alleged that she had made objectionable remarks against its MP Dimple Yadav.

Soon after the arrest of Manish Jagan Agarwal, who is associated with the SP’s social media cell, party chief Akhilesh Yadav and supporters protested at the Uttar Pradesh Police headquarters here and demanded his release.

The opposition party also sought action against complainant Richa Rajpoot, social media head of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM)’s Uttar Pradesh wing, who was booked by the police on Sunday for alleged derogatory remarks against Dimple Yadav - Mainpuri MP and wife of the SP president.

Rajpoot, in her complaint to the police, had alleged, “Responsible Samajwadi Party office bearers have threatened that I will be raped. They have also threatened to kill me. They have also made indecent and vulgar remarks against me.” A case was registered against unidentified persons under sections 354(A) (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act at Hazratganj police station on January 4, police said.

State Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar, defended the police action, saying they have acted as per the law.

“The arrest was made after a detailed investigation of electronic footprint and information collected from the service provider,” Kumar told reporters at the police headquarters.

“The person (Agarwal) has from time to time crossed the limits of decency. He had also tweeted against journalists using indecent language and having a casteist feeling,” the ADG said.

This was the fourth such FIR lodged against “people managing the Twitter handle of the Samajwadi Party” since November last year, police officials said.

Also on Sunday, a case was registered against Rajpoot at Hazratganj police station on the complaint of Naresh Uttam Patel, the chief of the UP unit of the Samajwadi Party, according to the police.

Patel, in his complaint, alleged, “Dr Richa Rajoot through her verified Twitter account has tweeted using indecent language against Samajwadi Party MP Dimple Yadav.

“The indecent comment will encourage crime against women. Owing to this, there is anger among the Samajwadi Party workers and the common public.” Rajpoot was booked under sections 294 (obscene acts and songs) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC and the IT Act, the police said.

In a tweet in Hindi, the Samajwadi Party claimed that when Akhilesh Yadav reached the police headquarters, there was no responsible person present. It also posted pictures of Yadav, SP leader Rajendra Chaudhary and others at the police headquarters.

The party said Agarwal’s arrest was “condemnable and shameful”.

Later, speaking to reporters, Yadav alleged that the police and the administration were acting as BJP workers.

“When I reached the police headquarters, it was empty. If there is no one to listen at the police headquarters, then imagine the situation across UP,” he said.

Asked about the SP chief’s charge, ADG Prashant Kumar said, “Since it was Sunday, officials were present as per requirement, and he (Yadav) spoke with them. Officials of the local police also came.” “The national president of a party (referring to Akhilesh Yadav) had come to the DGP headquarters along with other MLAs. He asked why Manish Jagan Agarwal, who is linked to SP’s media cell, has been detained.

“He was informed that a case was registered against him, and two cases were registered against the media cell of the SP. Manish Jagan Agarwal was later sent to judicial custody,” said Kumar.

About the controversial tweets of Agarwal, Kumar said these were made since November last year. “The Lucknow Police arrested him as there was a possibility of disturbance to law and order,” he said.

Police erected barricades to prevent the SP workers from entering the force’s headquarters. SP leader and former Leader of Opposition in UP Legislative Council Sunil Lathar told PTI that Agarwal is associated with the party’s social media cell.

While he was waiting at the headquarters, Samajwadi Party chief Yadav refused to have tea offered to him, alleging he might be “poisoned”.

In a video aired by TV channels, Yadav could be heard saying, “I will not drink the tea from this place. I will have tea from outside (the UP Police headquarters). What if you poison me? I will order from outside. You (addressing the person serving tea) have your tea, I will have my tea.” The SP chief was then heard instructing a person to see whether any tea shop was open outside.

Responding to allegations by the SP chief, ADG, Kumar said that since Yadav is an MLA, he was allowed to come inside. Other MLAs who accompanied him were also allowed to come inside the office. The rest of the people were not, the officer said.

“Subsequently, officials who were present here offered him tea, and he had tea. They properly presented themselves and listened to him. He was briefed about everything, and he went back satisfied,” Kumar said.

He said no information was given in advance about the visit of Yadav to the UP police headquarters.

#Akhilesh Yadav #BJP #Social Media

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