Four persons were arrested in 24 hours in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly posting and sharing on social media “objectionable pictures” of Yogi Adityanath, who was sworn in as the chief minister on Sunday.
The arrests were made in Varanasi, neighbouring Ghazipur, Sonbhadra and Bareilly districts, police said.
Mohammad Salman, a resident of Faridpur in Bareilly, was arrested for morphing and circulating a picture of Adityanath on WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging service, superintendent of police (rural) Yamuna Prasad said.
The 26-year-old was arrested on Monday night on the complaint of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
The RSS is the political ideologue of the BJP, the ruling party in the state.
The 26-year-old Salman, who runs a gym, said he had only forwarded the image he received, said police, who are investigating the matter.
The same evening, Jayprakash Yadav, a resident of Rehta Katari in Sonbhadra, was taken in custody for sharing a picture of Adityanath on a messaging application, police said. Some BJP workers had lodged a complaint against Yadav.
Brijesh Srivastava was arrested in Varanasi for a similar offence on the complaint of the city chief of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a youth outfit founded by Adityanath, police said, without sharing the details of the picture.
On Sunday night, Abdul Razak, a resident of Professors Colony in Ghazipur district, was arrested for uploading an offensive image of Adityanath by creating a fake Facebook account.
District magistrate Sanjay Khatri and senior police officers were forced to rush to the spot as tempers ran high when local Yuva Vahini members came face-to-face with Razak’s family and friends.
“Razak confessed to have uploaded the image,” inspector Surendra Kumar Pandey said.