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Chhattisgarh: Scribe jailed for satire, police officer suspended for ‘supplying’ documents

RAIPUR: After arrest of a Chhattisgarh journalist for writing political satire sparked a row, a police officer has been suspended for making certain ‘documents’ available to him and the Raipur police.
Charges of ‘prostitution’, prevention of immoral trafficking Act (PITA) and under the Information Technology Act added against the scribe.

Journalist Nilesh Sharma, who used to regularly write political satire using fictional characters, was arrested on the charges under IPC section 504 ( intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) 501(1) (b) for making, publishing or circulating any statement rumour or report and IPC 505(2) for statements creating or promoting enmity or hatred between classes.
Nilesh Sharma has been writing satire under title ‘Ghurwa Ki Maati’, a popular political satire.

During the previous BJP regime, he wrote a series of political satire under the name ‘Chokhelal’.
The complaint lodged by a ruling Congress worker Khilawan Nishad said the journalist’s column ‘Ghurwa Ke Matti’ on a portal India writers tried to create a discord in the government as part of the agenda. In his FIR he also mentioned that this was part of the ‘Godi Media’.
In his latest article, Sharma took at a dig at the Congress over its present situation besides indirectly referring to the recent political infighting within the ruling party over power sharing formula that had surfaced in August last year. Moreover, the article had disguised names having resemblance with those closely associated with the Congress government.

After the word spread that a political satirist has been booked and jailed, the police added three new sections, pertaining to PITA, IT Act against Nilesh Sharma claiming that they found objectionable materials on his phone.
Later, an unsigned press release was circulated to the media; the police claimed that Sharma was found to be indulging in prostitution, blackmailing and obscene chats with females and males. This statement also claimed that They found confidential documents and recordings of confidential nature—thus ruining the name of journalists and journalism.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Raipur Prashant Agrawal said a platoon commander, posted with VIP security Vinod Singh Thakur has been placed under suspension last night after it was found that he had made some call detail record (CDR) available to the Journalist Nilesh Sharma. An inquiry has been initiated against him and further investigations are on.

Meanwhile journalist, who was initially sent to Raipur Jail, was shifted to a prison in Bilaspur, about 100 Kms away, due to ‘administrative reasons’. While he was in Raipur jail, his family members tried to meet him but they were not allowed and it is also alleged that they were aksed not to speak to the media.
BJP vice-president Raman Singh, the former chief minister, said the Congress government had promised in its manifesto to enact a law to safeguard the journalists but not it is targeting journalists for satires.

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