The Mumbai police came down heavily on the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM) workers staging a peaceful protest against the illegal crackdown on media and social media by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. The protests took place outside the Mantralaya in Mumbai today. The Mumbai police have detained BJYM Mumbai chief Tajinder Tiwana and several other workers from outside the Mantralaya.
महाराष्ट्रात अभिव्यक्ती स्वातंत्र्य धोक्यात आले आहे..— BJP MUMBAI (@bjp4mumbai) November 2, 2020
महाराष्ट्रात जी आणीबाणी सदृश परिस्थिती निर्माण झाली आहे , त्याच्या विरोधात आज भाजप मुंबई व @BJYM4Mumbai ने ‘ जन आक्रोश मोर्चा ‘ आयोजित केला होता त्यावेळेस पोलिसांनी कार्यकर्त्यांची धरपकड केली. pic.twitter.com/7a5QZLITXQ
According to BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua, Mumbai police reached the spot where the BJP youth wing workers were peacefully staging a protest, against the Maharashtra Government’s high-handedness and efforts to stifle the media, and forcefully stuffed the BJP workers in the police van.
It is really sad that MVA govt of Maharashtra is not allowing @bjp4mumbai and @BJYM4Mumbai karyakarta to peacefully protest against #AghadiSarkarEmergency— Suresh Nakhua (सुरेश नाखुआ) (@SureshNakhua) November 2, 2020
Karyakartas are being detained for peacefully protesting. pic.twitter.com/cUJvvvy4qZ
He said that the Uddhav Thackeray government’s fascism has thrown Maharashtra into a state of undeclared emergency, where journalists and social media users are being harassed and terrorised if they dare to speak against the Uddhav Thackeray government.
Friends, @bjp4mumbai @BJYM4Mumbai is hitting streets against the #Emergency facist conduct of MVA Government to curb the voice of Media , Social Media Warriors and common people.— Suresh Nakhua (सुरेश नाखुआ) (@SureshNakhua) November 2, 2020
Time : 12 noon today
Place : Mantralaya , Churchgate #AghadiSarkarEmergency pic.twitter.com/TeAC3pr66o
Following several cases where media and social media users have been facing the wrath of the Maharashtra Government recently, BJYM and BJP leader had organised a peaceful protest at 12 pm today, outside the Mantralaya- administrative headquarters of the state government of Maharashtra in south Mumbai to protest against the MVA Government’s predisposition to curb the voice of media.
Maharashtra government vs dissent
Several cases in the last few months have surfaced which has highlighted how the Maharashtra Government has always tried to choke the rising voices of dissent. The state government at the behest of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has tried to stifle freedom of expression by filing several random cases against journalists and social media activists who have dared to articulate their views against the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state.
Maharashtra Government vs Republic TV
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government and been in loggerheads with Republic TV and it’s Editor-in-chief, Arnab Goswami ever since the prime time show aired on Republic Bharat over the lynching of Hindu sadhus in Palghar. A sting operation had revealed that the MVA government, especially CM Uddhav Thackeray is vehemently against Republic TV and they want to shut it down in the state.
Several FIRs were filed against the editor-in-chief of the channel and he was called to the police station in Mumbai where he was grilled for more than 11 hours. A case was also filed against him and his channel Republic TV for broadcast on April 14 and 15 regarding the Bandra migrants incident.
Arnab had also alleged that one of his reporters and the camera person was unlawfully detained by the Maharashtra government when they were on a trail of an investigative story in Navi Mumbai. Another Republic TV journalist Pradeep Bhandari was reportedly recently encircled physically by the Mumbai Police and was detained illegally. It was alleged that Pradeep was assaulted as well and was not provided with access to lawyers. The channel had stated that it was Bhandari’s continuous perusal of the Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case had irked the Maha Aghadi government.
A few days back, Republic TV was also targeted in a TRP manipulation case when the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh who claims soon fell flat.
Despite this, the witchhunt against the news channel by the Mumbai police at the behest of the Maharashtra state government only went on to intensify. After registering FIR against the entire editorial team of Republic TV, recently, Mumbai police demanded editorial access to the newsroom of the channel.
Twitter users become victims of intolerance of the Maha Vikash Aghadi government
In another case, a Twitter user Sameet Thakker became the victim of intolerance of the Maha Aghadi government. Thakker, a resident of Nagpur, was arrested for allegedly calling the son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ‘baby penguin’. A video emerged where he was seen tied with a rope and his face covered with a black cloth as he was being led by the Mumbai police officials.
However, Sameet Thakker is not alone who has been in the front line of attack by the Maha Government. Another social media user Sunaina Holey was arrested for allegedly making ‘offensive’ comments against Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray on social media.
People on social media were outraged by the highhandedness shows by the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government. The party was criticised heavily for attempting to curtail an individual’s right to freedom of speech and expression.
Retired Navy officer Madan Sharma attacked by Shiv Sena goons
Similarly, retired Navy officer Madan Sharma had also bear the brunt of the Maharashtra Government for sharing a cartoon on WhatsApp. He was mercilessly beaten up by Shiv Sainiks for sharing a satirical cartoon featuring Uddhav Thackeray and his allies Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi. The CCTV footage of the incident had gone viral on social media, where one could see how the veteran was brutally attacked by a bunch of Shiv Sena goons.
Maharashtra Government goes after actor Kangana Ranaut
In addition to these, actress Kangana Ranaut was also hounded by the Uddhav Thackeray government for her unequivocal opinions. The faceoff between the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and Kangana which started after the latter had compared Mumbai to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in the wake of Azaadi graffiti seen on the streets of the city, and the subsequent inaction of the Mumbai Police, landed up subjecting the ‘Queen’ actress to threats of violence, derogatory words by Shiv Sena leader and her house worth crores being demolished. The actor had then alleged that the BMC’s decision to demolish her property was a direct consequence of her comments against the Maharashtra government.