A Goan youth who had allegedly posted comments against Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi on his Facebook account during the Lok Sabha election campaign, is likely to face arrest after a local court rejected his anticipatory bail plea here today.
The district and sessions court rejected the bail plea of naval engineer Devu Chodankar, after a local cyber crime cell investigating the complaint against him claimed that his Facebook post was a larger gameplan to "promote communal and social disharmony" in the state. The post was withdrawn by Chodankar later.
Goan businessman Atul Pai Kane, who heads the BJP-led Goa government's committee on investment and industrial policy, had lodged a complaint against Chodankar, who is currently out of station.
The police had filed an FIR under Section 153(A), 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), besides Section 125 of the Representation of People Act as well as Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act. Some of these sections are non-bailable in nature.
Cyber-crime police inspector Rajesh Job told the court today, that he opposed the anticipatory bail to Chodankar and that his custodial interrogation is "essential" to find out any motive of "a larger game plan to promote communal and social disharmony" in the state.
Meanwhile, Goa's main opposition Congress party has condemned the state police action against Chodankar, claiming that it is a blow to freedom of speech. We condemn the action. There is no freedom of speech in the BJP-ruled state. The police is working under political influence," Goa Congress spokesman Durgadas Kamat told reporters today.
Kamat said that the party firmly stands by Chodankar, who had merely expressed his personal views. Civil rights activists too have also decided to support Chodankar. "A protest has been planned outside the Goa police headquarters on Saturday by social groups to condemn this attack on the freedom of speech," Samir Kelekar, a social activist said.