Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday said 149 cases were registered against several people for posting objectionable remarks against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on social media, IANS reported.
Chennithala compared Vijayan to Adityanath, after three journalists were arrested over the weekend for allegedly propagating defamatory content about the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. “What is happening in Kerala is similar to the developments in Uttar Pradesh ruled by Yogi Adityanath,” said the leader of opposition in the Kerala Assembly.
Cases have also been filed against 12 state government employees and one central government employee. A total of 41 state government employees, including the 12 against whom cases were registered, are facing disciplinary actions, including suspension from service, the Deccan Herald reported.
Twenty-six people were also arrested for objectionable remarks against Vijayan in connection with Sabarimala temple’s ban on women of menstruating age from entering the hill shrine.
The details of cases filed were provided by the chief minister himself in a written reply to questions in the Kerala Assembly. Vijayan was responding to questions raised by Congress MLA VT Balaram and Indian Union Muslim League leader MK Muneer in January.
Chennithala also said that actions were taken only in defamation cases related to Vijayan and other cases of objectionable posts against ministers or Congress leaders were not considered. “While as many as 149 cases have been registered against people for posting remarks against Vijayan, nothing happened when I complained about being defamed on social media,” Chennithala said. “Also, no case was registered against those who defamed former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.”
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had ordered the release of journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested on Saturday in Delhi for his comments about Adityanath on social media. In a video that Kanojia shared, a woman is seen speaking to reporters outside the chief minister’s office claiming that she had been talking to Adityanath over video chat and had sent a marriage proposal to him. Two other journalists, Ishita Singh, who is the head of news channel Nation Live, and Anuj Shukla, one of the channel’s editors, were also arrested on Sunday after the channel allegedly aired the video. The police claimed the channel does not have the requisite licence to operate.
However, no journalists in Kerala faced action in this regard, the Deccan Herald reported.