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Journalist Prashant Kanojia shared a morphed post on Ram Mandir, taken into custody

Prashant Kanojia was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police last month from his residence in South Delhi in connection with a tweet as he had avowedly posted a morphing photograph about a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, after his arrest 980 activists and scholars were outraged against Uttar Pradesh government as they said; imprisonment of Kanojia was politically motivated and driven by vendetta.

Even a year ago, Kanojia, a former journalist at The Wire Hindi, was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police for social media posts he wrote about Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath, and this is the third time UP police has registered a Fir in case of Kanojia in connection with a social media post.

As reported by ‘The Quint’ that he was taken to the Vasant Vihar police station in the Capital and got shifted to Lucknow later and FIR was registered against the journalist at the Hazratganj police station by one Dinesh Kumar Shukla.  

Dinesh Kumar’s FIR proclaim that Kanojia had allegedly posted the image and wrote that stated according to his post, there will be a ban on the entry of members of the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes into the Ram temple in Ayodhya. This got circulated as a screenshot of Sushil Tiwari’s post,” the FIR added, attaching the screenshot of the photograph. “This kind of objectionable post will result in disturbing communal polyphony, lead to tension between different sections of communities and can hurt religious feelings, which can threaten law and order.”

Journalist Prashant Kanojia granted bail, five still in jail; two others  booked - India News

Later on, The Hindu Army shared photographs on Facebook which supposedly showed the original poster by Tiwari and the morphed version allegedly shared by Kanojia. According to the post, the poster shared by Tiwari demanded that Vedic studies should immediately replace Islamic studies in the Union Public Service Commission examinations. Having said this, Kanojia’s wife said the journalist did not post the tweet for which he has been arrested; an edited screenshot with morphed photographs is doing the rounds under his name. She told The Wire, “You can check his Twitter; you will not find the tweet anywhere. Hence she denied the charges.

Kanojia’s wife narrated the whole incident that UP police officers came to their house during afternoon time, none of them were wearing police uniform except one cope. When Kanojia’s wife questioned police, they told her that the charges against Kanojia were in “connection with some tweet”. “When his wife asked them which tweet are they talking about, the police said, ‘you have tweeted a lot, there are orders from above, and we have to follow them.

The FIR against Kanojia has been filed under nine sections of the IPC, related to promoting antagonism between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language; statements creating or promoting antagonism, hatred or ill-will between classes; forgery for the purpose of cheating, and defamation, among others. Kanojia has also been booked under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, which involve online offences.

As Prashant Kanojia was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on August 18. Further report says, he will have to spend another month in jail as the Allahabad high court accepted the UP government’s request that it will be given four weeks to respond to his bail plea.

Earlier bail denied by the sessions court in Lucknow and had moved the high court on September 8. When his case came up before Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh of the Lucknow bench on Monday, the judge ordered that the matter be listed four weeks hence.

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Written by Ayushi Kedia

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