Maharashtra Police has arrested Sameet Thakkar, a resident of Nagpur, for allegedly posting objectionable comments against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Minister Aaditya Thackeray on social media platforms.
The case against Sameet Thakkar
On 2nd July, two FIRs were registered against Sameer in Nagpur and at VP Road police station, Mumbai. He was accused of posting objectionable content against CM Thackeray, Aaditya Thackeray and Nitin Raut. On 1st and 30th June, he posted against Thackerays, which one 1st July he posted a tweet against Raut.
Court ordered to appear in VP Road police station
Thakkar submitted a plea in Bombay High Court to avoid arrest and asked the court to quash FIR registered against him. On 1st October, during the hearing, a bench of Judges SS Shinde and MS Karnik ordered Thakkar to cooperate in the investigation and record his statement in the VP Road police station.
On 5th October, Thakkar visited the VP Road Police station in Mumbai with two advocates to record his statement. The cyber cell team of Mumbai Police was also present. Thakkar escaped the police station on the pretext of going to the washroom. On 9th October, he said in Bombay High Court that he had escaped from the police station as he feared cyber cell would arrest him. The court had then asked cops not to take any action against him and the police must provide a copy of the FIR and record his statement first.
Thakkar was ordered to revisit the police station on 16th October, but he did not appear. On 23rd October, Thakkar’s counsel Abhinav Chandrachud refused to appear for Thakkar and returned his brief. Advocate Raspal Singh Renu informed the court on record that Chandrachud has returned the brief and asked for time to appoint new counsel. The next hearing is scheduled for 3rd November.
#BabyPenguin trended on Twitter in Oct to support Thakkar
When Thakkar was booked for making an objectionable comment on Thackareys, netizens came out in his support and trended #BabyPenguin on Twitter. Thakkar had allegedly called Aaditya Thackeray as ‘Mohammad Azam Shah of Maharashtra, aka baby penguin.’ He also referred to CM as ‘Modern day Aurangazeb’ and posted a derogatory comment on Raut.
Why Aaditya Thackeray is called Baby Penguin
Aaditya Thackeray was given the nickname after his insistence to bring penguins in Mumbai Zoo. The administration spent around Rs 2.5 crores on the project that included the cost of creating an artificial environment for the flightless birds.
Eight Humboldt penguins — Donald, Daisy, Popeye, Olive, Flipper, Bubble, Mr Molt and Dory — were brought from Seoul, South Korea, in 2016 to the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan, popularly known as the Byculla Zoo. It was known as a ‘pet project’ of Aaditya Thackeray, as he had led the project to bring penguins to Mumbai. However, a few weeks later, one penguin “Dory” died due to bacterial infection. This triggered a massive controversy.
The experts believed that the bird died due to sudden change in the environment. Further, the zoo administration did not have the training and knowledge to handle such exotic birds. Several experts also opined that it was a bad idea to bring penguins to hot and humid India. Later, the first baby penguin hatched in India had also died.