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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi may be held in another sedition case

Dharmendra Jore, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 14, 2012
First Published: 01:16 IST(14/9/2012) | Last Updated: 14:56 IST(14/9/2012)

Even as cartoonist Aseem Trivedi received bail and walked out of the Arthur Road Jail on Wednesay, his troubles may not end soon as he is likely to be arrested and tried for sedition in a local court in Beed, Maharashtra.

Trivedi applied for bail after the state government assured him that they were likely to drop the sedition charge against him. However, the second case could make matters worse for the cartoonist.

Social activist Hanumant Upre, who heads the state unit of Satyashodhak OBC Parishad, had asked judge NR Mangire of the Beed district court to direct the local police to file an FIR against Trivedi under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, in January this year.  Upre had moved court after the police refused to register the FIR. The FIR was registered on January 7, but the  police are yet to arrest the cartoonist.

Government sources, however, said the Trivedi's arrest was probable as the court had framed the charges. Dattatrya Mandlik, superintendent of police (Beed), confirmed that his department has filed an FIR.

Further, the procedure of dropping the existing sedition charge is also a lengthy one, a senior official said. 

While the state has said it will look into dropping the sedition charge, both the Congress and the NCP are not keen on diluting  charges against the cartoonist.

"We think Trivedi has disrespected the nation and must be punished," said Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant. Nawab Malik, NCP spokesperson said, "The judicial process has to be followed. There cannot be any short cuts."

Trivedi was arrested on Saturday by the Mumbai Police, which charged him, among other things, with sedition for insulting the national emblem and Parliament through his cartoon during the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare in December 2011.


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