Monday, September 10, 2012

Mumbai police arrest cartoonist, slap sedition, cybercrime charges on him

MUMBAI, September 10, 2012

Award-winning political cartoonist and anti-corruption and Internet freedom crusader Aseem Trivedi (25) was remanded in police custody till September 16 by a holiday court in Bandra on Sunday. He was arrested on Saturday night on charges of sedition, cybercrime, and insulting the national flag, Parliament and the Constitution through his work.

Additional police commissioner (west region) Vishwas Nangre Patil told The Hindu that the complaint against Mr. Trivedi was filed after the India Against Corruption (IAC) agitation at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) grounds at Bandra Kurla Complex, which started on December 27.

Mr. Trivedi's 'Cartoons Against Corruption' website was banned by the Mumbai police then. Months later, a non-bailable warrant was issued against him. On August 30, a team of the Mumbai Police went to his home at Shuklaganj in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district to execute the warrant, but found he was out of station. The team then questioned Mr. Trivedi's father, Ashok, for four hours. Later, it asked the Shuklaganj police to speak to Mr. Trivedi and ask him to surrender in Mumbai.

Mr. Patil said there was no need for a seven-day remand and he would seek legal opinion in this regard. "If investigations are completed, we need not keep him for such a long time."

Mr. Trivedi and activist Alok Dixit, who launched the 'Save Your Voice' campaign for Internet freedom after the cartoonist's website was banned, reached the Bandra Kurla Complex police station at 4 p.m. on Saturday and a few hours later Mr. Trivedi was arrested.

Police lodged an FIR against Mr. Trivedi on the basis of a December 30, 2011 complaint by social activist and law student Amit Arvind Katarnaware.
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