TMC Writes To EC Over Gokhale Arrest, Questions Charges Under RP Act

New Delhi: The TMC has written to the chief election commissioner, demanding an inquiry into the actions of the Gujarat Police over the arrest of party spokesperson Saket Gokhale, alleging he was being “falsely implicated”.

Hours after he secured bail from a metropolitan court on Thursday, the Gujarat Police arrested Gokhale again in a case related to his tweet about the Morbi bridge collapse tragedy.

The TMC leader had on December 1 tweeted a news clipping about information purportedly obtained through a Right to Information application, claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Morbi after the bridge collapse cost Rs 30 crore.

Soon after, the Press Information Bureau tweeted a ‘fact check’, saying the information was fake. An FIR was registered against Gokhale on charges of forgery and printing defamatory content, and he was arrested on December 6.

He was granted bail by the court in Ahmedabad on Thursday, following the completion of his police custody, but hours later, he was arrested in another case registered by Morbi police.

The TMC, which has sent a three-member delegation to Ahmedabad, asked why Gokhale was being charged under section 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which relates to promoting enmity between classes in connection with an election.

“We would urge you to order an immediate inquiry into the action initiated by the Gujarat Police by falsely implicating Saket Gokhale and to put an end to all such physical, mental harassment inflicted upon him, not to speak of the loss of social and political reputation he is having in the eye of the people.

“We would also request you to take appropriate action against the police officials who would be found guilty in perpetrating such ghastly show of muscle power by misusing the provisions of RP Act in the manner epitomized above,” the letter said.

The letter further said Gokhale has not committed any offence in connection with any election for which provisions under section 125 of RP Act, 1951 can be levelled against him.

It also said that section 125 of the RP Act, 1951 is a bailable section and any person arrested under it has the right to get bail from the police station concerned.

“But in the instant case, Saket Gokhale has been dragged from one case to another and the Gujarat Police arrested him from Jaipur in Rajasthan to take him to Ahmedabad in Gujarat without any jurisdiction and/or legal authority in the first place and then again from Ahmedabad to Morbi Police Station on false and fabricated case,” it said.

The party also questioned why the section was not raised when Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma reportedly “preached and fanned communalism and hatred towards religious minorities while campaigning in the recently held Assembly Election in Gujarat” or against Paresh Rawal, ex-MP of the BJP, who “preached hatred against the Bengali community while campaigning in the run up of Gujarat Assembly election”.

The party attached news reports of the statements made by the two with the letter.

Gokhale, national spokesperson of the TMC, was arrested by the Gujarat Police from Jaipur on December 6 and taken to Ahmedabad, where he was granted bail by the court on December 8.

However, the party alleged that when Gokhale was leaving the Cyber Crime police station in Ahmedabad, the Gujarat Police again arrested him without any warrant or court order purportedly in connection with another case. 

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. No editing has been done in the headline or the body by ABP Live.)