‘This is abuse, not dissent’, says Dr Ahmed who filed FIR against Congress’ Divya Spandana for calling PM ‘chor’

On 24th September 2018, Congress’ IT Cell head, Divya Spandana took to Twitter to share a morphed image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This comes after the Congress has been trying its best to insinuate a scam in the Rafale deal signed between India and the French government where they exist none. Recently, the trail led up to the Gandhi family itself when it was revealed that the infamous arms dealer, Sanjay Bhandari, who is allegedly a close associate of Robert Vadra was lobbying at the time to become Dassault’s offset partner.

Lawyer and activist Syed Rizwan Ahmed took strong objection to Spandana’s tweet. He tweeted his objected to Divya several times and also urged her to delete the tweet.

Mr Ahmed then said that he was so angry at the tweet by Spandana, that it had prompted him to support BJP. A proposition he would have laughed off earlier.

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On 25th September 2018, a day after Divya Spandana tweeted the morphed image of PM Modi with “chor” written on his forehead, Dr Syed Rizwan Ahmed tweeted that he had filed a case of sedition against the Congress IT Cell head.

The FIR filed by Dr Ahmed has been filed under the sections 124A of the IPC and a provision of the IT Act. Section 124A pertains to sedition and reads “whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in 103 [India], shall be punished with 104 [im­prisonment for life], to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

OpIndia.com spoke to Dr Syed Rizwan Ahmed and asked him why he chose to file an FIR invoking harsh sedition laws. Dr Ahmed said:

Deregotory visible representation of a democratically elected Prime Minister of the Nation on a platform which has no borders does not fall under Freedom of Expression, criticism of policy does. But aspersions of grave nature cannot be condoned by any self respecting Republic and Democracy. The Prime Minister is the face of Nation, Face of Republic and Democracy. Mature opposition has sanction to hold him accountable for any policy or action within polity and ethics, especially on International platform. He is face of Government. He represents India Globally. Photoshop on his statue which was mark of global respect in such abusive words is nothg but provoking contempt for post of Prime Minister who is face of Government and the common man.

OpIndia.com, while speaking to Dr Ahmed also asked him what he would say to someone who would counter his FIR by saying that ‘dissent is the safety valve of democracy’ and that his complaint perhaps stifles dissent. Dr Ahmed said:

Dissent is soul of a healthy and vibrant Democracy. But dissent should be such that it does not jeopardize public order, morality and core constitutional values. This is abuse not dissent.

While Dr Syed Rizwan Ahmed has already filed an FIR against Divya Spandana, another lawyer, Vibhor Anand, who had given her a 24-hour deadline to take the tweet down has asserted that he will be filing a Rs. 10,000 crores defamation suit against the Congress IT Cell head.

When OpIndia.com reached out the Vibhor, he asserted that he would be filing the defamation suit today.

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