There have been at least seven cases of people being slapped with notices for posting derogatory or unflattering material about Adityanath since he took office.Salman Nizami, a senior Congress leader in Kashmir, was issued a defamation notice for being critical of UP’s new chief minister Adityanath on Twitter on March 25, Vaadi Online reported.
Among the allegedly incriminating tweets are: “The man who called for the raping of dead Muslim women is UP’s new CM” and “Those celebrating #YogiAdityanath should remember that this country is great only because of its diversity, not coz of these bigots.” And on March 19, Nizami had tweeted, “Zakir Naik is being hounded despite no evidence agnst him. Yogi Aditynath hs cases of murdr, riots registrd agnst him.”
Nizami told The Siasat Daily that he stood by his statements and was not going to back down or be intimidated by the notice.
The politician is the latest addition to a seemingly ever-growing list of men and women who have been threatened with legal cases for being critical of Adityanath on social media platforms.
A case was filed against Bollywood filmmaker Shirish Kunder by Amit Kumar Tiwari, secretary of Thakurdwara Trust of Ayodhya, at Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station for tweeting: “Hoping a goon will stop rioting once he’s allowed to rule is like expecting a rapist to stop raping once he’s allowed to rape (sic)”. Kunder has since apologised for his remarks.
In Siliguri, Bengali poet Srijato Bandopadhyay was booked under non-bailable Section 295A of the IPC and 67 of the Information Technology Act for hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus by posting a poem titled ‘Abhishaap’ (Curse) on Facebook on March 19. The poem is critical of rightwing Hinduism and makes veiled references to Adityanath.
The last line of the offending poem goes, “As long as women are raped by digging up their graves, condoms should be worn on trishuls”. Facebook removed the poem a few days after Bandhopadhyay was booked.
Several other people have also been booked for posting photoshopped images of Adityanath on Facebook and Twitter.
Twenty-five-year-old Ghazipur resident Badshah Abdul Razak was charged on March 21 for posting an “objectionable photo” of the new chief minister on Facebook via a fake account, Hindustan Times reported.
On the same day, the Hindu reported that members of the BJP Yuva Morcha filed a case against Bengaluru-based women’s rights activist Prabha N. Belavangala for uploading “obscene, morphed and tampered” images of Adityanath on social media.
Meanwhile, a local court will hear 22-year-old Rahat Khan’s bail application today in Noida, Hindustan Times reported. Khan was booked and arrested for posting derogatory content about Adityanath on Facebook. Naveen Sharma, a member of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a youth group started by Adityanath, is the complainant in this case. Khan was arrested under the IT Act under a section related to sending offensive messages.
In yet another incident, members of the Maratha group Sambhaji Brigade barged into 19-year-old Rinku Gupta’s house in Ghatkopar, Maharashtra, after neighbours complained to group members that Gupta had posted a picture of Adityanath’s face on a “warrior king’s body” on Facebook, the New Indian Express reported. Gupta had to spend a night in jail for hurting the sentiments of a community despite deleting the picture.