The witch-hunt that has been launched in Maharashtra against anyone who dares to criticise the Uddhav Thackeray led government reached its zenith when Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was assaulted and dragged out of his home to be arrested in a case that was close in 2019. After languishing in jail for 8 days, it took the Supreme Court to give relief to Arnab. However, the witch-hunt launched was not limited to a journalist like Arnab Goswami. It also extended to average citizens who were hounded and hauled through the coals for criticising the Uddhav Thackeray government.
Sameet Thakkar is an average citizen who used to criticise the Uddhav Thackeray government on Twitter. Thakkar who is facing charges for his remarks was arrested by Maharashtra police for the third time in a row on November 11. He has been sent to police custody till November 13. However, Thakkar’s ordeal does not end there, the courts are closed till November 15 which means that he can request bail only be after courts reopen on November 16.
On the 13th (Friday), when his police remand was scheduled to end, the Magistrate extended the custody and ordered for Sameet Thakkar to be in police remand till the 16th.
Sources close to Sameet have said that his police custody was to end today, however, in front of the magistrate, the police pressed for 3 more days of custody. Hence, instead of him going to Judicial custody, the magistrate granted police custody till the 16th.
Sneha Singhvi, who is a close friend of the family said that the police had taken his phone and laptop during arrest itself, which would mean that he was probably going through hours of interrogation. However, for mere tweets criticising the Uddhav government, the police seems to want to interrogate him further.
Sameet's phones and laptops have been taken long back.— Sneha Singhvi (@snehasneha173) November 13, 2020
Almost since 24th he is in custody..
That means hours and hours of interrogation.
But there really seems a need for more thorough investigation upon the crime of tweeting hence PC again till 16th #ReleaseSameetThakkar
The series of arrests started on October 24: Sameet Thakkar hounded
Thakkar was first arrested by Nagpur’s Sitabuldi police on October 24 after which he spent nine days in custody. He was then re-arrested by the VP Road police from court premises after a Nagpur court granted him bail on November 2 in relation to the FIR lodged with Nagpur police. He was again arrested by BKC police on November 10 after he was granted bail on November 9 in relation to the FIR lodged with VP Road police. He was granted bail on the condition that he would not operate his Twitter account until further orders.
The BKC police arrested Thakkar in relation to the case lodged with them and sought his police custody before the local magistrate court. His anticipatory bail in relation to the FIR filed with the BKC cyber police was rejected by the sessions court. Thakkar will now have to spend Diwali in police custody. It is noteworthy that out of nine people against whom FIR was registered at BKC police station, only Thakkar has been arrested.
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.
After Nagpur resident Sameet Thakkar was arrested for the third time, his brother Rishi Thakkar on Thursday Maharashtra met governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari seeking his intervention.
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani had on Thursday confirmed to OpIndia that he would be stepping in for Sameet Thakkar and fighting his case.