A Noida-based journalist was arrested on Saturday for allegedly posting objectionable content related to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Twitter. An FIR was registered against Prashant Kanojia at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow on Friday night in which it was alleged that the accused made "objectionable comments against the CM and tried to malign his image".
Kanojia’s wife Jagisha Arora said two men in plain clothes picked him up from their Delhi residence.
"I don't have much clarity myself. It all happened in five minutes or so. Prashant had gone downstairs. When he came back, he said he has to change his clothes as he has to go with the two men," NDTV quoted Arora as saying.
"The station house officer made me speak to my husband yesterday at 10.30 in the night. He told me he is okay and asked me to stay well too," she told the news channel.
She also said Kanojia will continue to stay in jail on Sunday as well.
Kanojia had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside the CM's office, claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath.
On Sunday, the Editors Guild condemned the "arrest" of Kanojia, describing the police action as an "authoritarian misuse of laws" and an effort to intimidate the press.
When contacted by news agency PTI on Saturday, a senior police official initially said that Kanojia had been arrested. But he later clarified that no arrest had been made.
The Guild sees it as an effort to intimidate the press and stifle freedom of expression, the statement said.
The FIR is based on the journalist sharing on Twitter the video of a woman claiming a "relationship" with the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the Guild said, adding that the television channel had broadcast a video on the same issue.
"Whatever the accuracy of the woman's claims, to register a case of criminal defamation against the journalists for sharing it on the social media and airing it on a television channel is a brazen misuse of law," the Guild said in its statement.
To give the police powers to arrest, provisions of Section 66 of the IT Act have also been added, it said.
(With PTI inputs)