Amidst the fresh row regarding freedom of speech and expression which was kicked off by the arrest of a journalist named Prashant Kanojia in UP who had posted highly derogatory remarks against Hindu gods and goddesses on social media, the State of Kerala was noticeably left out from the outrage despite having not a very impressive record in safeguarding freedom of speech and expression.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in state assembly: 119 people have been booked for derogatory posts against the CM on social media, since the government assumed charge. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/CQO3fMEPVC
— ANI (@ANI) June 12, 2019
According to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, 119 people have been booked in Kerala for making derogatory remarks against the Chief Minister on social media ever since the Pinarayi government came to power.
Reportedly, CM Vijayan himself stated these numbers in a recent written reply to questions in Kerala Assembly by Congress MLA V T Balaram and Indian Union Muslim League leader M K Muneer in January this year. As per the numbers provided by the Chief Minister, over 150 people in Kerala are facing either police cases or disciplinary actions for insulting CM Vijayan on social media. Out of the 119 persons who are facing legal action for posting derogatory comments against CM Vijayan on social media, 12 are State government employees and one is a central government employee. Among those facing disciplinary actions including suspension from service are, 41 State government employees out of whom 12 have cases registered against them. 26 persons have also been arrested for allegedly making objectionable remarks against CM Vijayan in connection with the Sabarimala temple entry issue.
Earlier in the day, the Kerala government had announced that it would be withdrawing the award given to cartoonist K K Subhas for publishing a cartoon mocking rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal.