Anti-Modi post: Goa CM claims state had no role in man’s arrest
Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said that police had no intention to arrest the 33-year-old engineer who was booked for posting comments against prime minister Narendra Modi on Facebook, while indicating that he may be let off after inquiry.
‘There was no intention to arrest the youth (Devu Chodankar). He was issued two summons after which he did not appear before police, and his lawyer went for anticipatory bail... Police opposed the bail as a regular process,’ Parrikar told reporters.
He said that the state government had no role to play in the entire episode.
‘The FIR has been filed in the case against him (Chodankar) after taking cognisance of a complaint by a citizen as recent Supreme Court judgment has said that such an action is required in case of cognisable complaints,’ the chief minister said, adding that SC directives can be ‘dangerous’ as anyone can misuse it in connivance with police officer.
He said that some sections in the national media are carrying wrong reports that the youth has already been arrested.
Hinting that Chodankar may be let off, Parrikar said, ‘We may refute the allegations against him (Chodankar) after investigation... There are 46 preliminary enquiries (PEs) against Chodankar, which are being ruled out one by one following inquiry by the authorities.’ Parrikar said the opposition Congress was ‘unjustifiably’ playing politics on the issue.
‘Even the Congress-led Karnataka government had arrested five engineering students for posting defamatory sentence against Modi,’ he pointed out.
A complaint against Chodankar was filed with the cyber crime cell by a Goa-based businessman Atul Pai Kane for allegedly posting anti-Modi comments on Facebook.
The cell then approached a local court seeking custodial interrogation of Chodankar while claiming that his FB post was ‘a larger game plan to promote communal and social disharmony in the state’.
Subsequently, Chodankar’s anticipatory bail was rejected by the court.
‘Police has summoned Chodankar for questioning on 2 June but he is not in the state,’ said Chodankar’s counsel Jatin Naik.
Police had filed an FIR under sections 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), besides section 125 of the Representation of People Act and section 66-A of the Information Technology Act.
Some of these sections are non-bailable.
Goa DGP T Mohan had on Monday assured a delegation of activists here that complete fairness would be observed while probing the case against Chodankar, who allegedly made some anti-Modi remarks on the social networking site on 23 March when the Lok Sabha was on.