Gujarat police book Kannan Gopinathan, Prashant Bhushan

Gujarat police have booked the duo for allegedly insulting a religion and 'misleading the people' through social media posts

Kannan Gopinathan Prashant Bhushan
The Gujarat police have registered a case against activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Kannan Gopinathan for allegedly insulting a religion and 'misleading the people' through social media posts.

The Gujarat police have registered a case against activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Kannan Gopinathan for allegedly insulting a religion and ‘misleading people’ through social media posts.

“As crores starve & walk hundreds of miles home due to forced lockdown, our heartless ministers celebrate consuming & feeding the opium of Ramayana & Mahabharata to the people,” Prashant Bhushan had tweeted on March 28.

Gopinathan and Ashlin Mathew, the news editor of National Herald newspaper, were accused of tweeting government orders “to mislead people”, according to a report in Hindustan Times.

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A complaint was submitted by a retired Captain of the Army identified as Jaydev Bhai Joshi, a native of Rajkot. In his complaint, Captain Joshi accused Bhushan of using the word ‘opium’ with Ramayana and Mahabharata in a tweet on March 28 which ‘hurt the sentiments of many Hindu people,’ the police said, according to the Hindustan Times report.

On the basis of the complaint, a case was registered against the trio under sections 295(A) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or the religious beliefs), 505(1) (publishing or circulating any statement, rumour or report which can cause fear and alarm amongst people), 34 (criminal act done by several persons), and 120–B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, they said, adding that they were investigating.

Gopinathan later in a tweet said he won’t be silenced.

“So Gujarat Police registered an FIR against me it seems. For misinterpreting Govt orders & allegedly RTing Prashant Bhushan. Nice try @AmitShah. You can arrest. But you won’t silence. No one is afraid of you here. PS: Dear PM @narendramodi, your daily briefings will continue,” he said.

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