The police commissionerate has booked local BJP leader Sandeep Bhalla on the charge of posting a defamatory and morphed picture of Congress president Sonia Gandhi on his Facebook page.
Punjab Congress leader and RTI activist Sanjay Sehgal had submitted a complaint in this regard to the police commissioner, seeking the registration of an FIR under the Information Technology (IT) Act. A case was registered late on Monday evening at division number 3 police station under Section 66-A (sending offensive messages through communication service etc.) of the Act.
State BJP president Kamal Sharma, during a press conference here on Sunday, had tendered an unconditional apology for the party leader's act.
"I will take strict action against the party member and the post will be immediately removed from the social networking site. Such acts will not be allowed," Sharma had said while addressing mediapersons. But Bhalla removed the photograph from his Facebook page only after the registration of the case.
Bhalla is reportedly close to Jalandhar North MLA and chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari.
Meanwhile, Sehgal said another BJP worker had posted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's picture, defaced by a footprint, on his Facebook page. "We have moved a complaint to the police commissioner in this case too," Sehgal said.
Interestingly, Gujarat chief minister and BJP campaign committee chief Narendra Modi had recently exhorted the party cadre to make effective use of social networking sites to reach out to the people.
Speaking on the issue, additional deputy commissioner of police Navjot Singh Mahal said, "Such incidents are on the rise. Public awareness is a must to avoid the misuse of social networking sites. We have registered a case and are investigating the matter."