A man was arrested in Jharkhand’s Chatra district Tuesday for allegedly posting objectionable comments in a couple of WhatsApp groups on the eve of Eid. However, the admin of one of the groups, a local journalist, who claimed to have played an active role in the arrest, alleged that the manner in which the police carried out the exercise had left him exposed, and that the accused had threatened him.
According to the police, Pushpendra Chaturvedi, a resident of Tandwa area, was arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. Chaturvedi works in the Central Coalfields Limited colliery. The FIR was lodged on the basis of a complaint by Jitendra Singh Chauhan, a journalist with Hindi daily Aaj.
Chauhan told The Indian Express: “The accused posted the comments in more than one WhatsApp group on the eve of Eid. As the word spread, police asked me to identify the person or face action. I told the police about his address. However, the officer-in-charge of Tandwa police station told me to bring him to the police station. I travelled 8km from my village to Tandwa and took Chaturvedi to the police station. As per rules, the identity of those giving information about such messages should be kept secret.”
He added, “Chaturvedi warned me of consequences after he comes out of jail.” Officer-in-charge (Tandwa) Girish Dutt Mishra could not be reached for comment. DIG (Hazaribagh) Bhimsen Tuti said he was not aware of the details. “I will get the matter probed,” he said.