The bail application of 22-year-old Rahat Khan, who was booked for allegedly posting derogatory content against CM Yogi Adityanath on Facebook, will be heard on Monday.
The application was moved before local court in Surajpur on Friday, after which the first additional chief judicial magistrate, Parul Pawar, ordered the police to produce case dairy before the court and posted the matter for hearing on Monday.
Khan was arrested in Dankaur by Greater Noida police on Thursday evening, after they received a complaint from one Naveen Sharma, a member of Hindu Yuva Vahini, a youth group founded by Yogi Adityanath.
Police had earlier informed Hindustan Times that Khan had posted a morphed photograph of newly elected CM Yogi Adityanath with an insulting caption that questioned chief minister’s integrity on his Facebook wall.
Khan was produced before local court and was sent to jail on Friday. Khan’s advocate, Dinesh Kumar, said, “We moved a bail application on Friday, but the hearing in the matter is posted for Monday.”
Khan’s family members have alleged the involvement of hatemongers in the matter and that Khan was being falsely implicated. “Our family has been raising our voice for several social causes, which is not liked by some hardliners. Hence, they are trying to harass us by any means. The photograph could have been posted by someone else through his social networking account,” said Kadir Khan Jayswal, the arrested man’s uncle.
Complainant Sharma claimed that he was informed about the controversial post by someone else after which he checked Khan’s Facebook profile and complained to police.
Sharma said, “Chief minister elect Yogi Adityanath is a respected figure and idol for many. The Facebook post could hurt feelings of many people.”
Following the complaint, Dankaur police booked Khan under Section 66A (punishment for sending offensive messages through communication services) of the IT Act, 2000, and Section 153a (promoting enmity between different groups) of the IPC.
The action against Khan came close on the heels of police arresting four people in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly posting and sharing on social media “objectionable pictures” of Adityanath.
These arrests were made in Varanasi, Ghazipur, Sonbhadra and Bareilly districts, police said.
The 44-year-old Adityanath, known as a ‘firebrand Hindu leader’, is the head priest of Gorakhpur’s influential Gorakhnath shrine and a five-term parliamentarian.
The BJP leadership chose to make him the chief minister after the party and its allies won a landslide victory — with 325 seats — in the February-March assembly elections in the country’s most populous state. The Yogi was sworn in last Sunday to head a BJP government in Uttar Pradesh in 15 years.