A court in Maharashtra on Sunday sent Marathi actor Ketaki Chitale to police custody till May 18, a day after she was arrested by the Thane Police for sharing a derogatory social media post allegedly targeting Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, PTI reported.
On Friday, the 29-year-old actor had shared a poem about Pawar on Facebook and attributed it to an advocate named Nitin Bhave. The poem had mentioned the Nationalist Congress Party leader’s last name and referred to a person above 80 years of age.
The social media post had said that “hell is waiting” for Pawar and made references to his illness and appearance. The poem added that Pawar harbours hatred for Brahmins.
Chitale was arrested based on a complaint filed by Nationalist Congress Party worker Swapnil Netke. The police registered a first information report against Chitale under Sections 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving defamatory material) and 153A (promoting enmity between groups) of the Indian Penal Code.
The post sparked massive outrage among workers of the Nationalist Congress Party. Some had thrown black ink and eggs at the actor outside Kalwa police station in Thane district on Saturday evening.
All major political parties in Maharashtra also condemned the post.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray said that “such writing” has no place in the culture of the state. He demanded that the state government should investigate the matter to find out who the “real culprits” are.
“We have differences with them [the NCP] and will remain in future, but it would not stoop to this level,” Thackeray added. “This is not the mindset but a mental sickness which needs to be checked at the appropriate time.”
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis added that nobody should make such derogatory comments against any veteran leader. “Today, absurd language is being rampantly used on social media,” he said. “I think the law will take its course.”
This is the second instance of a person being arrested for social media post targeting Pawar this week. On Friday, a pharmacy student in Nashik city, Nikhil Bhamre, was arrested in connection with an allegedly provocative tweet against the NCP leader.
He has been charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups), 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), The Wire reported.