#ReleasePrashantKanojia Trends as the former 'The wire Hindi' Journalist Arrested for 'Defaming' Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath

Prashant Kanojia was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police from his home in Delhi on Saturday afternoon. The arrest is seemingly over social media posts he wrote about UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Prashant Kanojia is a freelance journalist who previously worked as a staff reporter at The Wire Hindi.

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Prashant Kanojia, Picture: Facebook
New Delhi: Prashant Kanojia, a former journalist at The Wire Hindi was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police from his home in Delhi on Saturday afternoon. The arrest is seemingly over social media posts he wrote about UP chief minister Adityanath.

An FIR was registered against Prashant Kanojia by sub-inspector Vikas Kumar at Hazratganj police station on Friday night in which it was alleged that the accused made "objectionable comments against the CM and tried to malign his fame".

Lucknow police issued a press release confirming the arrest. He has been charged under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 505 (public mischief) and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act. 

Section 505 – relating to spreading rumours and “public mischief” – comes with an important exception. The Law says:
It does not amount to an offence, within the meaning of this section when the person making, publishing or circulating any such statement, rumour or report, has reasonable grounds for believing that such statement, rumour or report is true and makes, publishes or circulates it 8 [in good faith and] without any such intent as aforesaid.

Pic credits: Thewire.in

"He has not told about his association with any news agency during interrogation. The probe is on in the matter," the release said. 

His wife, who was present when the police came to pick him up, says that the police officials informed them that they were from Hazratganj police station and were taking Kanojia to Lucknow by road. Another person who called up Kanojia while he was being picked up also said that he was being taken to Lucknow by the UP police and his phone has not been reachable since then.

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On what grounds the police has decided that this post is “obscene” under Section 67 has not been explained, given his tweet. The exception in Section 505 too should have kicked in, given that it is fair to assume Kanojia believed the woman speaking in the video.


The remaining section – 500 – is a bailable offence, which means the police itself is empowered to release him on a bond. However, Kanojia has been sent to jail and the earliest he can move the courts is Monday, so he will have to spend at least two nights in jail.

Here is the picture of the FIR that has been filed against Prashant Kanojia


FIR, Pic Credits: Thewire.in

Kanojia had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman was speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside the chief minister's office claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath. 
She also claimed that she had been conversing with the chief minister for a long time over video chat and that now she wanted to know if he was willing to spend his life with her.

The verified Twitter handle of Kanojia @PJkanojia said that he is an alumnus of IIMC and Mumbai University and is associated with some media organisations.

Here is the tweet, Kanojia posted on Twitter with his own comments, mocking the point.
After the arrest of  Mr Prashant Kanojia, the Twitterati in India started trending with the tweets with #ReleasePrashantKanojia. Here are a few of those tweets that went trending.








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