Freedom of speech in peril? Kanpur’s lawyer arrested, sedition charge imposed for calling UP CM Yogi terrorist

A day after the AISA activist Nitin Raj was arrested in Lucknow for demanding the release of other activists, a district court lawyer was arrested in Kanpur for calling the UP CM a terrorist

UP CM Yogi Adityanath (Photo- PTI)
UP CM Yogi Adityanath (Photo- PTI)

NH Web Desk

It seems that now people of the country and particularly Uttar Pradesh will have to restrict their speech and social media posts as the government is increasingly arresting or clamping sedition charges on those who are speaking even a little against the ruling dispensation.

A day after the AISA activist Nitin Raj was arrested in Lucknow for demanding the release of other activists for protesting against the contentious Citizenship Law, a district court lawyer was arrested in Kanpur on Tuesday on charges of sedition for calling Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath a terrorist on Sunday.

The Indian Express quoted Ajay Seth, SHO of Kalyanpur police station as saying, “We have registered an FIR against the person. He has been arrested and sent to jail after being produced before the court”.

The lawyer, Abdul Hannan had retweeted a video posted by the State Information Department’s Media Advisor Shalabh Mani Tripathi on Saturday supporting the UP CM yogi’s with a caption: “Tum kagaz nahi dikhaoge, aur danga bhi failaoge, to hum lathi bhi chalvayenge, gharbaar bhi bikvayenge… aur haan poster bhi lagwayenge. (You will not show the papers and will also participate in riots, then we will cane charge, auction your houses and put up posters).”

In this video, Yogi Adityanath can be seen speaking in the parliament supporting the lathi charge on the anti-CAA protesters.

Hannan retweeted this post by Tripathi calling him a terrorist in his post.

Hannan also tweeted that he would provide all legal help to protesters free and requested all “constitution lovers” to follow him by sharing his tweet.

Section 124-A in the Indian Penal Code, named 'Sedition', briefly says 'Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India' shall be punished with life imprisonment.’

But it also says that comments that express strong disapproval of 'the measures of the Government, with a view to obtain their desired modifications by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.'

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