Zakir Ali Tyagi claims being arrested for posting “The Ganga has been declared a living entity; will criminal charges be initiated if someone drowns in it?” on his Facebook status
Uttar Pradesh: Eighteen-year-old Zakir Ali Tyagi was been beaten rigorously and then arrested alleging that he updated Facebook status on the recent court rulling on rivers Ganga and Yamuna, reported The Telegraph. He describes, it as while speaking at the meeting of the Bhim Army Defence Committee at the Press Club of India in Delhi on Tuesday, where many others also described their plight under the new Yogi Adityanath rule in Uttar Pradesh.
Zakir, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree through correspondence from Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Meerut.
According to Tyagi, after Uttarakhand termed Ganga & Yamuna river as ‘living entities’ and gave them legal rights, he had updated his Facebook status to: “The Ganga has been declared a living entity; will criminal charges be initiated if someone drowns in it?”
Khan, the activist, said: “At his first bail hearing, the magistrate arrived late and postponed it to the following week. At the second hearing, the bail plea was dismissed on the ground that the ‘matter is serious’.”
Forcefully picked by the police from his house he charged under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, which says about any person doing hacking which could lead to jail terms of three years.
Zakir told the Telegraph, that he was targeted for questioning the logic of granting “legal person” status to the Ganga. The Telegraph report said the FIR accused Tyagi of posting ‘galat tareeke ke (wrong type of) comments” on Facebook.
Wasiq Nadeem Khan, Tyagi’s legal aid, told the Telegraph, “The police had initially registered the FIR under Section 66A, which prescribes three years’ jail for offensive posts, unaware that the Supreme Court had struck it down as unconstitutional in March 2015. When they realised the mistake, they merely dropped the letter ‘A’.”
Zakir taking a jibe at the BJP’s temple politics in UP. His status read, “The government’s promise on the Ram Mandir was nothing but a gimmick, which will be made before the next polls again to lure voters, like the promise to send mullahs to Pakistan.”
The Telegraph report said he was cheating for using a murdered policeman’s image as his profile picture as part of a campaign to seek justice for the officer. The picture was of Akhtar Khan, a police officer killed on duty in Greater Noida.
Zakir told the Telegraph that he was beaten in prison. “I was locked up at Kotwali Nagar police station. Later that night, a man in a yellow T-shirt, jeans and shoes entered the cell and asked which of us was Zakir. When I raised my hand, he kicked and punched me till I lay writhing on the floor.”
“He abused me and said that people would stone my house and call me a terrorist as I had written against the government. I was never taken to a doctor but a medical report was produced in court saying I was in good health,” he went on to say. After receiving bail, he was charged with sedition cases and he is going to approach the Allahabad high court for quashing the sedition case.
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Reaction on social media
Outrage grew on social media after the news went viral, many expressed anguished and disappointment against the UP police for misusing the power.
UP police picked up this guy because of his "galat" Facebook comment. pic.twitter.com/CLKn0ZwXG1
— Ankur Bhardwaj (@Bhayankur) October 11, 2017
This is "NEW INDIA" with new slogan of Police in UP "Adhiti Devo Bhava" Just pickup anyone & keep them as long as you want.
— Vikram Chawla (@vikramch) October 11, 2017
Its when such incidents get ignored and normalized that we reach the brink of a totalitarian state.
— Aritra Mukherjee (@Aritra211) October 11, 2017
Sources : The Telegraph