An independent journalist has been arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s state capital Lucknow in connection with a case filed against the Twitter account of the Samajwadi Party (SP) Media Cell for allegedly spreading communal hatred, Hazratganj police said.
Anil Yadav was arrested by Hazratganj police following a complaint filed by another journalist Manish Pandey on November 23.
While the SP said Yadav has nothing to do with its Twitter account, police said he was running the social media account.
Yadav, who runs a YouTube channel, has been sent to judicial custody.
Lucknow Assistant Commissioner of Police (Hazratganj), Arvind Kumar Verma said, “It was found during the probe that Yadav uses the Twitter account of Samajwadi Party. The investigation is underway.”
The complaint lodged by Pandey said, “On November 20, the Samajwadi Party Media Cell made a controversial post about the Gorakhnath mutt with a political objective. On repeated occasions, the account attacks the Gorakhnath mutt. The mutt is the centre of religious importance for crores of Hindus. I wrote that the mutt should not be dragged into politics and that (the tweets) should be restricted to 5, Kalidas Marg (CM’s residence). After that, the said Twitter account started using objectionable words against me.”
SP National Spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said, “Anil Yadav has nothing to do with the Twitter handle of SP Media Cell. He is a journalist.”
In a tweet from the same Twitter account, the SP wrote, “Anil Yadav should be released immediately and should be sent home with respect. The BJP government is murdering democracy and disrespecting the Constitution They are trying to stop pro-people journalism with the use of power. Free speech is the constitutional right of every citizen.”
In another tweet, the SP wrote, “Through his YouTube channel, journalist Anil Yadav is exposing the atrocities on people. Angered by this, the BJP has used the administration to arrest him in an unconstitutional manner.”
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)