A man who uploaded several videos on social media questioning the Nagaland government’s management of Covid and alleging corruption has been arrested in Haryana.
A police statement said that Pankaj Gupta was arrested in Kurukshetra on Tuesday by a joint team of Haryana and Nagaland police and has been charged under IPC Sections 153A, 505(1B), 505 (1C), 505 (2) and 120B.
Gupta runs a YouTube channel titled “Dr Pankaj Gupta” and has over 37,000 followers. He often posts videos on issues related to Nagaland with a few other topics, such as the one from May 2019, titled “Salute to BJP workers of Bengal”.
In a 40-minute-long video titled “Nagaland | Govt | Covid-19 | Scam” uploaded on May 30, Gupta questioned the Neiphiu Rio-led government’s Covid strategy and allocation of funds. He accused the state government of intentionally spreading the novel coronavirus across the state to get more funds from the Centre.
Police said Gupta had been on the run for several days. Police had taken cognisance of various posts uploaded on various platforms by the accused which were “inflammatory, abusive, divisive and prejudicial to the maintenance of social peace and harmony attracting the provisions of IPC, which are cognisable and non-bailable”.
The police statement said, “The freedom of speech in a democracy also comes with reasonable legal restrictions”.
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