Admin of Facebook page grilled for posting land deal blame on TRS leaders
Facebook page administrator, J Prashant, posted alleged illegal land dealings of several ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi leaders in Telangana.india Updated: Apr 03, 2018 21:58 IST
Hyderabad police questioned for the second day on Tuesday a Facebook page administrator, J Prashant, who had posted alleged illegal land dealings of several ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders in Telangana, though no case has been filed against him.
Prashant, who is from Vemulaghat village in Siddipet district, was taken into custody in his office in Hyderabad’s upmarket Banjara Hills neighbourhood on Monday for allegations on his Facebook page titled “Sprit of Telangana”. He has allegedly criticised the TRS government and questioned its policies.
Prashant defended his posts, saying there was nothing legally objectionable. “If at all there is some issue, the cybercrimes wing or the IT cell of city police should deal with it,” he said.
“I told them (investigators) that I have not committed any crime and whatever I posted, I did it with evidence,” Prashant said.
He was let off on Monday after several hours of questioning and called again the day after. He didn’t reveal what questions were asked.
“We called him for questioning based on a complaint that he had posted some derogatory comments against chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao,” said Radhakrishna Rao, deputy commissioner of police (Task Force).
Followers of the Facebook page alleged that “whistle-blower” Prashant was harassed for exposing a land scam involving a minister’s aides in Suryapet district.
According to the Congress spokesman for Telangana, Dasoju Sravan, the TRS leaders and the chief minister could file a defamation case against Prashant if he had made derogatory and baseless allegations. “In what way, Task Force police are connected to this case?” he asked.
Spirit of Telangana was established by a non-resident Indian based in the US and Prashant is said to be its administrator in Hyderabad.
“He is just an employee. He is one of the affected people of the proposed Mallannasagar project and has been opposing it. Hence, he is being harassed,” Sravan said.
The Mallannasagar reservoir to divert water from the Godavari to the state’s drought-hit regions will submerge 14 villages in Siddipet district, including Prashant’s Vemulaghat, where protests against the project are concentrated now.
The state government recently sought to declare crimes under sections 506 and 507 of the Indian Penal Code as cognisable offences and arrest offenders without court permission.
Section 507 deals with criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication such as social media. The punishment under both sections is imprisonment for two to seven years, with or without a fine.
The government withdrew the decision, though, after opposition parties challenged it in court.