THE RAJASTHAN police on Sunday detained model-actor Payal Rohatgi from her residence in Ahmedabad for her objectionable comments against Motilal Nehru and Jawaharlal Nehru among others.
“We have detained her from Ahmedabad. We are bringing her to Bundi, she should be here by Monday morning. She made a video against Motilal Nehru and Jawaharlal Nehru which had objectionable comments. A case was registered under the IT Act on October 10,” said Bundi SP Mamta Gupta.
“We didn’t have her address so we sent a team to Mumbai earlier. We sent multiple notices to her Mumbai and Ahmedabad addresses to present herself, but she did not turn up. So we finally sent a team to Ahmedabad,” said Gupta.
Rohatgi was picked up from Ahmedabad’s Satellite area. “A team of Bundi police reached our police station and asked for assistance in a case against Rohatgi. A team from Satellite police station assisted the Bundi police and held the accused around 10:30 am. She has not been arrested yet, she was detained at our police station. The Bundi police team has left for Bundi, where she will be formally arrested,” said P D Darji, officer in-charge, Satellite police station.
In the video, which she posted on her social media accounts on September 6 and 21, Rohatgi made comments about members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, including Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi.
The FIR was filed at the Sadar police station in Bundi on October 10, on the basis of a complaint by Charmesh Sharma, general secretary of the Indian Youth Congress in Rajasthan.
“The contribution of our freedom fighters is above all. There can be no compromise with their honour, and no Indian citizen can question their character and make objectionable or obscene comments against them. Payal Rohatgi crossed all modesty when she questioned the character of women who played a role in our freedom struggle,” said Sharma, 38.
The Bundi SP said it took time to detain Rohatgi as the case pertains to social media. “We will ask her why she made this video and what her aim was. She had filed for anticipatory bail on Friday, and we had also submitted the relevant documents, but no decision could be taken… We followed the procedure…We also wrote letters to Twitter and Facebook and sought records from them,” said Gupta.
Rohatgi has been charged under IPC Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and Section 67 of the IT Act (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form), said the Bundi SP.
Meanwhile, Rohatgi tweeted on Sunday, “I am arrested by Rajasthan Police for making a video on Motilal Nehru which I made from taking information from Google. Freedom of speech is a joke”, and tagged the offices of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted: “There’s little doubt that the comments of Payal Rohatgi were tasteless & false, typical Sanghi drivel circulated on WhatsApp. But to arrest her is unwise: upholding freedom of expression means allowing her to say stupid things without police getting involved. She should be released.”