A man has been jailed for sharing an “indecent” photograph of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on WhatsApp after a BJP worker from Haryana lodged a complaint against him, according to a media report.
A BJP worker’s complaint from the constituency of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala in Fatehabad district has landed Shaqib, a tailor by profession, behind bars, Indian Express reported.
Little is known about the 19-year-old Shaqib in Shahpur-Kalyanpur village in Uttarakhand since he had barely completed 15 days in the village, working as a tailor. On November 18, to the shock of residents, police from Tohana in Haryana travelled to the village and arrested him.
Dehradun Senior Superintendent of Police Nivedita Kukreti said: “On November 18, the Haryana police informed the Uttarakhand police about the arrest they wished to make. The case was completely handled by the Haryana (Tohana) police.”
The Tohana police was acting on an FIR under sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act and section 292 A (printing etc. of grossly indecent or scurrilous matter or matter intended for blackmail) of the IPC that had been lodged against Shaqib at Tohana town. Barala represents Tohana in the Assembly.
Pradeep Kumar, the SHO of the Tohana police station who headed the team that arrested Shaqib, told The Indian Express: “We took the help of Uttarakhand police and traced Shaqib. He was brought to Tohana on November 18 and he is currently serving a 14-day judicial remand in Hisar.”
Sub-Inspector Ramesh Chander, currently looking into the matter, said: “Till today (Wednesday), nobody has turned up for his bail.” According to Chander, Mukesh Kumar, a resident of Tohana’s Pratap Colony, had lodged a complaint with the sub-divisional magistrate on November 15 after he received the “objectionable” message on a WhatsApp group. “We received the complaint on November 18 and an FIR was registered,” Chander said, adding that during interrogation, the tailor admitted he shared the message.
When asked about his association with the BJP, Kumar said Ganesh Saini, the BJP Yuva Morcha’s local unit president, should be contacted. Saini said Mukesh has been a booth-level worker of the party since 2014.
In Uttarakhand’s Shahpur-Kalyanpur village, Shaqib’s arrest “shocked” residents. “I was in my shop, when I saw Shaqib being taken away” Sabir Hussain (25), who works in a salon beside the shop where Shaqib worked, said over phone. “Until Shaqib’s arrest I didn’t know what the consequences of sharing a joke on WhatsApp could be,” he said. Ashok Kumar, the owner of the shop where Shaqib worked said, “Shaqib lived here about six months ago. He then left the village and returned in November.” Kumar said he gave Shaqib the job “believing that he was a sincere boy”.