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Urdu educator in Rajasthan cries harassment after being booked over alleged FB posts against minister

According to the police, the FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint by Amardeen, the younger brother of minister Mohammad.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur |
April 21, 2021 11:21:11 pm
The FIR cites two posts from the Facebook account named Ameen Kayamkhani and says the posts, hinting at corruption in the Minority Affairs department, have greatly damaged Mohammad’s honour and respect along with the dignity of his office.

An FIR has been filed in Jaisalmer district against Ameen Kayamkhani, state president, Rajasthan Urdu Shikshak Sangh, for allegedly ‘defaming’ state Minority Affairs Minister Shale Mohammad in a series of Facebook posts.

According to the police, the FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint by Amardeen, the younger brother of minister Mohammad.

Kayamkhani has alleged that the state government is harassing him for his protests over issues influencing the Urdu and Madarsa education sectors.

The FIR cites two posts from the Facebook account named Ameen Kayamkhani and says the posts, hinting at corruption in the Minority Affairs department, have greatly damaged Mohammad’s honour and respect along with the dignity of his office.

“I am being harassed by the government because I have been raising my voice for reforms in the Urdu and Madarsa education sectors. There is nothing defamatory or objectionable in the posts. I had raised the issue of corruption by the district minority affairs officer. The government is targeting me to subdue my voice. Moreover, the FIR has been filed under section 66A of the IT Act, which has already been struck down by the Supreme Court. I will approach the Rajasthan High Court seeking quashing of the FIR,” said Kayamkhani.

He added that he had also held public meetings against the policies of the state government in Sujangarh, where by-elections were held recently, and alleged that he was being targeted for this.

The FIR was filed on April 12 under sections 469 (forgery for the purpose of harming reputation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC along with section 66 (1) of the Information Technology Act at the Jaisalmer Sadar police station.

“The FIR has been registered and we are conducting an inquiry. We will first verify whether the account from which the posts were made is that of Kayamkhani before taking further action,” said Kapooraram, station house officer, Jaisalmer Sadar police station.

Rajak K Haidar, the personal advocate of Kayamkhani, said that they will soon file a petition at the Rajasthan High Court for quashing the FIR.

“Our main ground for quashing the FIR will be the fact that in 2015, the Supreme Court had struck down section 66A of the IT Act and it is still being used by the police while filing FIRs. The police should be aware of it,” Haidar said.

The complainant in the case, Amardeen, denied that the FIR was filed against Kayamkhani due to his activities under the Urdu Shikshak Sangh.

“It’s not true that we registered the FIR owing to Kayamkhani raising voice or organising protests. He used to write defamatory things about the department on Facebook and without any reason, sullied the image of the minister. He made personal remarks,” said Amardeen, who is also the vice president of the Youth Congress in Rajasthan.

In 2015, the Supreme Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act which authorised police to arrest people for social media posts construed ‘offensive’ or ‘menacing’.

The Urdu teachers’ body headed by Kayamkhani has been protesting for a long time, accusing the Congress government of neglecting Urdu language education in Rajasthan’s government schools. Earlier, they had even demanded the resignation of the state’s education minister and threatened to hold protests outside Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence.

The demands of the dissenting teachers have included regularisation of jobs for para-teachers in madrasas, online classes for Urdu in government schools and madrasas and ensuring availability of Urdu textbooks.

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