Former head of Amnesty India, Aakar Patel, yesterday posted on Twitter that he was arrested and later let out on bail earlier this week for his posting offensive content against the Ghanchi community in Gujarat.
“Was arrested and bailed yesterday for an FIR filed by BJP citing sections incl 153A (promoting enmity). Will fight it,” a tweet posted by the controversial ‘journalist’ and ‘activist’ said.
Was arrested and bailed yesterday for an FIR filed by BJP citing sections incl 153A (promoting enmity). Will fight it.— Aakar Patel (@Aakar__Patel) September 22, 2020
Though Patel was arrested, he was not held in custody as he was able to secure an anticipatory bail. Patel has been charged under Sections 153 A, 295 A, 505 (1) B, 505 (1) C, 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code. Though many of the Sections under which Patel has been charged are non-bailable, Patel after being released from the arrest triumphantly announced on Twitter that he would fight the case.
Patel was arrested by Surat Police on a complaint filed by BJP MLA from Surat West constituency and president of the Samast Gujarati Modhvanik Samaj, Purnesh Modi, who alleged in his complaint that Patel made three objectionable tweets on June 24 and 27 against the community. The FIR was filed on July 7 this year.
Patel, in his first two tweets, asserted that PM Modi belonged to the Ghanchi caste which was included in the Other Backward Caste (OBC) list by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999. Patel also alleged that the community is “well-off” and is “meat-eating” and that PM Modi followed RSS’ manners and turned vegetarian.
In his third tweet, Patel claimed that those who died in the 2002 Godhra train burning belonged to the Muslim Ghanchi community. Later on June 27, he tweeted that the RSS and the BJP have always benefitted by violence against other Indians, particularly Muslims. “Vajpayee more than Upadhyaya, Advani more than Vajpayee and Modi more than Advani benefitted from this.
Aakar Patel has a habit of peddling lies and pursuing hate campaign against PM Modi and the BJP
However, this is not the first time that Patel has been accused of misusing his agency and spreading hate on social media. Ever since PM Modi came to power in 2014, Patel, who harbours deep-seated and intense hatred from PM Modi and the BJP, has been levelling insinuations and unfounded allegations against them to gin up discontent against the Modi government among the people. His efforts have intensified since PM Modi’s unprecedented victory in the 2019 General elections.
Most recently, Patel had to bear the brunt of running his hate campaign against the Modi government when his Twitter account was suspended for instigating Muslims and Dalits to take up arms against the centre, similar to the protests that have convulsed the United States of late.
On 31st May, while quoting a tweet by Colorado Times Recorder featuring a video of thousands of people protesting in Capitol in Colorado, Aakar Patel had tweeted that India Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis, women and poor also need to do protests like these. “We need protests like these. From Dalits and Muslims and Adivasis. And the poor. And women. World will notice. Protest is a craft,” he had tweeted.
A complaint was also filed against Patel’s provocative tweet. He had then been booked under IPC sections 505(1)(b) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity), 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 117 (Abetting commission of the offence by the public or by more than ten persons).