MP cartoonist recalls 'harassment' for exposing Narendra Modi
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Against the backdrop of ongoing controversy surrounding arrest and release of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, an artist from Madhya Pradesh has recalled the police "high-handedness" in putting him behind the bars for "exposing" Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi during his 'Sadbhavna' mission last year.
Harish Yadav, who draws caricatures for eveninger 'Prabhat Kiran' under the pseudonym of 'Mussavir' had drawn a cartoon on Modi's Sadbhavna Mission on September 20, 2011.
Yadav was arrested under section 295 (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint of Mohammad Sharif Khan after 'Prabhat Kiran' carried the cartoon in its edition.
"I was arrested on the same day when the newspaper carried the cartoon of Modi's mission in which I tried to expose him for refusing to wear a skull cap offered by a Maulana," Yadav said.
"Surprisingly, police acted very swiftly in my case and arrested me the same day on the issue despite the fact that the cartoon was in favour of the Muslim community," he recalled.
"Though, I was released on bail the next day, the experience of spending a night in the police lock-up is still fresh in my mind," Yadav said.
Yadav alleged that the police failed to file a chargesheet against him during the mandatory 90-day period after registering a case.
However, Indore's Inspector General of Police (IG) Anuradha Shankar has justified the arrest saying the tone of the cartoon could have hurt the religious sentiment of the minority community.
On delay in filing the chargesheet, the IG said she will find out the cause for not fling the chargesheet within 90 days by police.
'Prabhat Kiran' editor Prakash Purohit claimed that Gujarat government exerted pressure on its Madhya Pradesh counterpart, also ruled by BJP, to register a case against Yadav.
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