Police complaints were filed in cities across the country on Thursday against a man after a vulgar cartoon on Prime Minister Narendra Modi was uploaded on his Twitter handle.
IP Singh, a BJP leader from Lucknow and a former Uttar Pradesh minister, said one Mitesh Patel posted the cartoon on Twitter on Wednesday and it was retweeted by at least 292 people.
“I decided to file an FIR after reading the response of several women and girls, who demanded immediate police action against him.”
The Karnataka unit of the BJP filed a case against the cartoonist, who is suspected to be from Gujarat, the Prime Minister’s home state.
The offensive toon was not even his original, but a rip-off of a foreign caricature in which Modi’s images were super-imposed and the writings changed.
“Our members and also those of the RSS will file cases against this across the country,” BJP spokesperson Shantaram said.
Patel comes across as a person with a sick and sadist mindset “who draws vicarious pleasure by causing harm to others”, he alleged.
In the complaint, the party alleged that “it looks like the creator of this caricature takes pride in his creation, going by the audacious way in which he has defended and justified his totally atrocious creation”.
Patel, who faces arrest, was not available for comments.
He had tweeted earlier in the day that “a poster is more powerful than a 1000 Godse”. He offensive post was not removed either.
In Lucknow, BJP leader Singh accused the cartoonist of doing the bidding of the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress. He said the “header” of Patel’s Twitter account had a picture of Arvind Kejriwal and “that proved his inclination to AAP and Congress”.
Singh’s argument sounded tenuous as any mischief-maker could have a Kejriwal photo on his Twitter handle and post rude remarks on Modi.
Police Inspector Kunwar Prabhat Singh of Lucknow’s Vibhuti Khand police station said a probe with the cyber cell’s help would unearth the truth.
The cartoonist faces charges such as promoting enmity between groups, publishing obscene material on social media, and inciting people to cause offence. If proved guilty under these charges, he will end up drawing cartoons in jail for a good many years.
(with inputs from HT Lucknow)