A 22-year-old student, a resident of Aligarh, was briefly detained on Wednesday for allegedly using an “objectionable” image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his profile picture on a messaging service, Aligarh police said.
Police are lodging an FIR against the accused under the stringent IPC section 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, caste, etc).
“We detained one person for making an edited and objectionable picture of the PM as his profile picture on WhatsApp. We are now lodging an FIR against him under IPC section 153 A. Earlier in the day, he was detained under CrPC section 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences). He was later released on bail after being produced before the SDM court,” said Amit Kumar, Station House Officer of Civil Lines Police Station.
Kumar said the youth had recently taken admission in a college in Bihar’s Munger.
The case came to light after one Rajeshwar Singh had tweeted the same photograph of Modi on Tuesday and alleged that it was used during a protest on the campus of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
After investigation, Aligarh police found that the photograph was the profile picture on the youth’s WhatsApp account.
“After Singh tagged us on Twitter, we took cognizance of the matter and launched a probe. We did not find any base to the allegation that the picture was used during a protest in AMU… We have issued a statement on Twitter denying this,” said the SSP.
Shafe Kidwai, member and in charge of public relations of AMU, said no such protest was held in the university where any poster of Modi was put on display. “The claim that such posters were put up at a protest in AMU is defamatory… We are consulting our cyber and legal experts and will lodge a complaint against Singh for maligning the image of the university,” said Kidwai.
Asked if the police will lodge a case against Singh, the SSP said, “We will look into it once we get the complaint.”
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