Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday came forward in support of journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police for sharing ‘defamatory post’ on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Taking to Twitter, the SP Chief said that the freedom of media is being taken away by the people at the helm of power.
“Arrest of journalists is another step towards destroying the democratic system. We always knew that those at the helm want tv and newspapers to say what suits them but now the independence of social media is also being taken away. In these difficult times, we support the 4th pillar of democracy, Yadav said in a tweet.
Kanojia was arrested on Sunday at Hazratganj police station for allegedly uploading a video on Twitter where a woman was making claims about a marriage proposal to the Uttar Pradesh CM. Along with him, Ishika Singh, head of a Noida-based news channel and Anuj Shukla, an editor of the channel that aired the video were also arrested.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court questioned Uttar Pradesh government over journalist Prashant Kanojia arrest while asking the UP government to release the journalist immediately. Stating that a person could not be put behind bars for 11 days for a social media post, the SC said, “Show magnanimity in releasing the freelance journalist.”
“Opinions may vary, he (Prashant) probably should not have published or written that tweet, but on what basis was he arrested,” the SC asked while hearing the plea of Kanojia’s wife, Jagisha Arora. It added, “People are intelligent. They know everything put up on social media isn’t correct.”
The court further observed, “Liberty of citizen is sacrosanct and non-negotiable. It is guaranteed by the constitution and it cannot be infringed.”