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Writer arrested for FB post criticising SDM suspension

Police in Rampur on Tuesday arrested Dalit writer Kanwal Bharti for “trying to spread communal tension” through posts on Facebook

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: August 7, 2013 3:32:34 am

Police in Rampur on Tuesday arrested Dalit writer Kanwal Bharti for “trying to spread communal tension” through posts on Facebook that criticised the Samajwadi Party government and Urban Development Minister Azam Khan over the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal.

Bharti had said that Nagpal was suspended for demolishing the wall of a mosque,but no officer was suspended in Rampur where an old madrasa was demolished,and this was because the city was ruled by Azam Khan,and not by the government.

On August 2,Bharti wrote in Hindi on his Facebook page: “How is your Aaj Tak the fastest? You don’t even know that an old madrasa was bulldozed in Rampur and its operator was sent to jail for opposing it,and he is still in jail. Akhilesh’s government did not suspend any officer in Rampur. That is because Rampur is ruled by Azam Khan and not Akhilesh.”

An FIR was lodged against Bharti on Monday on the complaint of Fasahat Khan,a Rampur resident.

Rampur SP Umesh Kumar Singh said the complaint was lodged for writing posts that could spark communal tension. Singh said Bharti had written that a madrasa had been bulldozed,whereas in reality only illegal construction at graveyards had been removed.

He said Bharti was arrested on Tuesday and produced before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate,who gave him bail.

Bharti said police picked him up from his home around 8 am on Tuesday and detained him at the police station for over four hours before producing him in court where he first came to know what he was being charged with. He said his computer,which contained several of his unpublished articles,was seized by the police.

Bharti alleged the complainant is an associate of Azam Khan’s,and the complaint had been filed at the minister’s behest. Despite repeated attempts,Azam Khan could not be reached for a comment.

On Monday night,Bharti had posted on his Facebook page that the government was being run by “four chief ministers”. Bharti wrote in Hindi: “Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi government has failed completely on the issues of reservation and Durga Shakti Nagpal. Akhilesh,Shivpal Yadav,Azam Khan and Mulayam Singh (the “four chief ministers of UP”) may pat their government’s back on these issues but are unable to see the reality (because they have got completely alienated from the public) that they are being condemned in the public….”

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