Social activist and Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey was arrested by Uttar Pradesh Police in Lucknow on Monday while distributing pamphlets critical of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens, PTI reported.
The activist was picked up from the city clock tower, where women have been protesting against the citizenship law since January 17. He was released on bail after being produced at the district magistrate’s court, NDTV reported.
The police said a case was filed against Pandey at the Thakurganj police station for allegedly violating prohibitory orders. “Sandeep Pandey and his associates are also accused of distributing pamphlets criticising the Citizenship Amendment Act,” said Station House Officer Pramod Singh.
On February 14, Pandey had tweeted that printing presses in Lucknow had been warned not to print pamphlets or materials critical of the Citizenship Act and the citizens’ register. “Such curb on fundamental right to freedom of expression is rare,” he added.
Last month, Pandey had been booked for allegedly making inappropriate comments about Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar. He was also placed under house arrest during a protest. Pandey has been critical of the “vengeance” with which the state government led by Adityanath has acted against protestors.