In what could be described as an assault on the natural right of every citizen to criticize elected representatives, Rajasthan Police arrested a man on Thursday for publishing posters terming the incumbent Congress MLA Divya Maderna as ‘missing’ from her constituency.
An FIR has been registered in Karwar police station under Section 509 of the IPC and Section 66E of the Information Technology Act, at the instance of one Devaram. As per the allegations in the FIR, the accused Jugal Siyol who is termed as a political opponent of Divya Maderna had published posters stating that Divya Maderna is ‘missing’. It is also stated in the FIR that the posters have caused “mental trauma” to the supporters of Divya Maderna and that it harms the “clean and honest” image of Divya Maderna. MLA Divya Maderna is the daughter of former Rajasthan Minister Mahipal Maderna who was sacked after allegations of being involved in the Bhanwari Devi murder case.
Advocate Nerpat Choudhary representing Jugal Siyol said, “It appears that since the concerned S.H.O could only invoke bailable provisions, the accused Jugal Siyol was arrested by police invoking Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC. From the sequence of events, it is clear that the power under Sections 107 and 151 of CrPC was not used as a preventive tool, rather as a punishment.” The Advocate added that the action of the Rajasthan police is in flagrant violation of the precedents set by the Supreme Court and the Rajasthan High Court. He also added that “while FIRs are not being registered in genuine cases in the state, false cases are being registered against political opponents and people are being arrested even in cases involving bailable offence”. The accused was let out on bail by the court where he was produced by the police.
Jugal Siyol has now filed a complaint against the SHO Niyaz Mohammad before the Commissioner of Police, Jodhpur and the Director General of Police alleging that the SHO carried out the arrest by saying that Divya Maderna had telephonically instructed him to do so. The accused has also alleged that the SHO tortured him in custody and took away his valuables.
On Tuesday the Supreme Court had directed BJP leader Priyanka Sharma to apologize for sharing a meme about West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.