The Cyberabad police had recently faced widespread criticism for initiating action against a Hindu shopkeeper who had displayed the saffron flag on his cart, based on a tweet by a Muslim person who had claimed that the saffron flag by ‘Sanghis’ is promoting religious discrimination. Popular Twitter handle @theskindoctor who often posts photoshopped images for satirical purposes has shared another joke on social media mocking the incident.
In an image that clearly said “satire” at the bottom, @theskindoctor had attempted to draw attention to the absurdity of the Hyderabad police initiating action against saffron flags in the name of secularism.
Major Neelum Singh (rtd), who runs the popular Twitter handle @skindoctor had used the photoshopped front page of Hyderabad-based English daily Deccan Chronicle and had created a spoof report that said the Cyberabad police has banned the sale of oranges in the city to ‘boost secularism’. The image had clearly mentioned that it is a satire. Many twitter users had shared the image, including BJP leader Major Surendra Poonia, who later deleted it.
However, the Cyberabad police does not seem to take even jokes about the saffron or orange colour lightly. The police have reportedly registered an FIR against skin doctor for the image.
Skindoctor shared the information on Twitter that there has been an FIR against him in Hyderabad.
Cyberabad police has filed a case against me for a satire. A satire they perceived as “fake news” despite a disclaimer. How absurd it is!— THE SKIN DOCTOR (@theskindoctor13) April 28, 2020
Any lawyer friend who can help me with this? Also, one more request. If anyone can find out the FIR number so that I can proceed accordingly.
It is notable here that despite the image declaring that it is an satire, and obvious satirical lines in it, like “Deccan Cbronicle” for the name of the news paper, report by “Arfa Photoshopwani” and a line at the bottom that said, “Cyberabad police has been declared the most secular police in the world by UNESCO” the Cyberabad police has treated the image as ‘fake news’ and have filed a case against @skindoctor for it.
Speaking to OpIndia, skindoctor stated, “I had clearly written that it is a “satire”. I had also written my handle name and had myself tagged Cyberabad police in it. Despite that, I’m booked under 153A and other sections.”
The arbitrary action of the Cyberabad police, on the top of the recent news of the action against poor fruit vendors for sporting saffron flags, have created an outrage among Twitter users.
Hyderabad police can’t understand what’s a satire?— Ankur Singh (@iAnkurSingh) April 28, 2020
First they targeted innocents for a saffron flag, now to cover their stupidity, filed FIR against @theskindoctor13.
Even the graphics has satire mentioned in it. pic.twitter.com/j91y1axUrb
The recent news of police action in Jharkhand and Bihar against poor vendors just for displaying their religion on their carts, which is a common practice for many, has left many baffled at the level of harassment that is going on against poor, common Hindus in the name of secularism and appeasement.
BJP MP Arvind Dharmapuri had also demanded to know the reason behind the official Twitter handle of the Cyberabad police tagging the Rajendra Nagar police station to look into the matter where a Muslim Twitter user had claimed that by displaying saffron flags, the shopkeeper is practising religious discrimination.