Former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, and news editor of National Herald newspaper, Ashlin Mathew, were booked by Rajkot police for “posting and retweeting” a tweet on March 28 that allegedly “insulted a religion with intention to create fear or alarm among people”.police said an FIR was lodged at Bhaktinagar police station on April 12 against Gopinathan, Bhushan and Mathew under IPC sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intention to insult the religion of any class), 505 1 (B) (intent to cause fear or alarm among public), 35 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy).
According to police, on March 28, Bhushan had used his official Twitter handle to “quote tweet” a tweet of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and had said, “As crores starve and walk hundreds of miles home due to forced lockdown, our heartless ministers celebrate consuming and feeding the opium of Ramayana and Mahabharata to the people (sic)”. The minister tweeted a photo of himself watching the show Ramayana on Doordarshan on March 28, and wrote, “I am watching ‘Ramayana’, are you? (sic)”.
Javadekar later deleted his tweet after he faced criticism. The quote tweet of Bhushan was allegedly retweeted by Gopinathan and Mathew, as per the FIR.
Police said that the FIR was lodged after Captain Jaidev Joshi (40), an Army veteran and Bhaktinagar resident, filed a complaint. police said Joshi had taken offence to the use of the word opium made by Bhushan in reference to the mythological shows. “today the case has been transferred to Rajkot Special Operations Group (SOG) team for further investigation,” said V K Gadhvi, in charge officer, Bhaktinagar police station.
Gopinathan tweeted Monday, “So Gujarat Police registered an FIR against me it seems.
For misinterpreting govt orders and allegedly RTing Prashant Bhushan. Nice try @Amitshah. You can arrest. But you can’t silence. No one is afraid of you here. PS: Dear PM @narendramodi, your daily briefings will continue. (sic).”
So Gujarat Police registered an FIR against me it seems. For misinterpreting Govt orders & allegedly RTing Prashant Bhushan 🙄
Nice try @AmitShah. You can arrest. But you won’t silence. No one is afraid of you here.
— Kannan Gopinathan (@naukarshah) April 13, 2020
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