The detention of TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale provided fresh ammo to West Bengal Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee against Bhartiya Janta Party as she attacked the Centre on Tuesday.
She backed Gokhale, who has been detained by the Gujarat Police over a tweet on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and said that she condemned the BJP government’s "vindictive attitude". Banerjee, who is visiting Rajasthan, also claimed that Gokhale made no mistake.
"It's a very bad, and sad (incident). Saket (Gokhale) is a bright man. He is very popular on social media. He has made no mistake," Banerjee told reporters at Jaipur airport.
"I condemn this vindictive attitude. He (Saket) has been arrested because he tweeted against the Prime Minister. People also tweet against me...We are really feeling sorry about the situation," she said before heading for Pushkar.
The Gujarat Police have detained Gokhale over a tweet endorsing an alleged fake news report about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Morbi after a bridge collapse incident there on October 31, which had claimed 135 lives.
Gokhale recently tweeted a news clipping which apparently appeared to have been published in a leading Gujarati newspaper.
FIR lodged against Gokhale for spreading fake news about the PM's visit to Morbi
The Gujarat Police detained Gokhale over a tweet endorsing an alleged fake news about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Morbi after a bridge collapse incident there, an official said on Tuesday.
Gokhale was apprehended from Jaipur in Rajasthan during the early hours by officials of the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Cyber Crime, Jitendra Yadav said.
"Based on a complaint we received from a citizen, an FIR has been lodged against Gokhale for spreading fake news about the PM's visit to Morbi. We detained him from Jaipur today morning and he is being brought here for further legal process," Yadav said, adding a formal arrest will be made after a COVID-19 test.
The FIR was registered under Indian Penal Code Sections 465, 469, 471 (all pertaining to forgery) and 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), police said.
Gokhale, 35, the spokesperson of the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC, underwent a heart surgery recently and was on a private visit to Jaipur, sources said.
He recently tweeted a news clipping which apparently appeared to have been published in a leading Gujarati newspaper.
The news clipping claimed a query under the Right to Information (RTI) revealed the Gujarat government had spent Rs 30 crore on PM Modi's visit to Morbi after a bridge collapsed there in October. The bridge tragedy had claimed 135 lives.
Citing the news clipping which he attached in his tweet, Gokhale said, "RTI reveals that Modi's visit to Morbi for a few hours cost Rs 30 crore...Just Modi's event management and PR costs more than the lives of 135 innocent people."
ACP Jadhav said, "When we contacted Gujarat Samachar, the management told us this news was never published and it was totally fake and created by someone to look authentic. Thus, we have detained Gokhale for spreading fake news.
(With agency input)