Almost a month after lawyer Mukul Phadke had posted an “objectionable post” about the Ayodhya issue on a WhatsApp group, the Nagpur police are yet to arrest him.
Phadke had posted the remark on a group called Pristine Lawyers on November 12. A lawyer, Adil Mohammad Shafi Mohammad, had filed a police complaint against Phadke for “writing an objectionable post hurting the sentiments of the Muslim community and aimed at creating communal tension.” Adil had mentioned in his complaint that Phadke’s Facebook page also contained similar posts.
The police had booked Phadke under Sections 153(A) and (B), 295 (A) and 504, 505(2) of the IPC and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act. Phadke had moved the Sessions Court seeking anticipatory bail. The court is yet to decide on his plea but had not put any restriction on his arrest. The case had come up for final hearing on Wednesday but was put off again till December 13, when the final order is expected.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 2, Vinita Shahu said, “My officers have told me that the complainant had moved the court for compromise. So, we haven’t gone ahead with the arrest.”
Adil Mohammad, however, told The Indian Express, “It is completely wrong. I haven’t moved any such application. In fact, the court hasn’t put any restriction on the police to arrest Phadke but the police are dragging their feet.”
Asked about the “compromise” story, Investigating Officer Amol Deshmukh denied having put out any such information. ” There is no compromise move by the complainant,” Deshmukh said.
Deshmukh on being asked if the police had confirmed the technical evidence about the objectionable post said, “Yes, we have confirmation from Whatsapp that the remark was posted from the number that belonged to Phadke. That’s good enough to arrest him. We are yet to receive confirmation from Facebook.”
Deshmukh added, “The bail matter was in court and was up for final hearing today. But due to some other important matter, the court couldn’t take it up. It’s coming up for final hearing on December 13. But we can arrest him even before that. There is no restriction as regards that from the court.”