The Chhattisgarh Police on Monday charged a journalist in Bastar with sedition for sharing a cartoon on Facebook that allegedly made derogatory references to the judiciary and the government, PTI reported.
The cartoon commented on the Supreme Court’s decision to reject petitions calling for an independent investigation into the mysterious circumstances in which special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya died.
“A case has been registered against Kamal Shukla under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code with Kotwali police station of Kanker district on the complaint of a Rajasthan-based person,” Superintendent of Police KL Dhurv told the news agency.
The cartoon for which Shukla has been booked was not available on his Facebook page, The Hindu reported. He, however, denied deleting it. “I am searching for the cartoon and I will share it again,” said Shukla, who edits a weekly called Bhumkal Samachar. “How can the authorities be so intolerant? I just expressed my thoughts on the condition of judiciary today.”
When Loya died, he was presiding over the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter trial in which Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah was then named accused. Loya’s family in 2017 raised questions about the manner of his death, and claimed that he had been under pressure to deliver a favourable judgement. Shortly after Loya’s death, the judge that replaced him on the case quashed all charges against Shah.