Protests over police action on Goan for anti-Modi FB comments

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Protests erupt in Goa over FB post
Panaji, May 24: Political parties and social activists today protested police action against a Goan youth, who had allegedly posted comments against Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi on Facebook in March when the Lok Sabha campaign was on.

The cyber crime cell of Goa Police had moved the court here seeking custodial interrogation of accused Lavu Chodankar claiming that his FB post was a larger gameplan to "promote communal and social disharmony" in the state. The District and Sessions court had yesterday rejected anticipatory bail plea of Chodankar, who is currently out of station.

Goa businessman Atul Pai Kane, who heads the BJP-led Goa government’s committee on investment and industrial policy, had lodged a complaint against Chodankar. The police had filed an FIR under Section 153(A), 295(A) of the IPC, besides Section 125 of the Representation of People Act as well as Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act.

The protestors led by cybercrime expert Dr Samir Kelekar and representatives of Congress and Aam Admi Party (AAP) today staged their agitation outside the police headquarters here after they were stopped at the gate and were refused permit to meet Director General of Police T Mohan.

Chodankar had posted the comment in March this year

"The police have claimed that they want to access his laptop from where the message was posted on FB. The message was posted on March 23 and summons were issued on May 12. According to them, there was delay on the part of Facebook to respond to their query. This is absolutely wrong.

Two months after the post, what you will get on the laptop is the record that FB was accessed, thats all," Kelekar, an IITIan and cybercrime expert told reporters. Congress’ Goa Chief John Fernandes, Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Independent Vijay Sardesai and AAP co-ordinator Walmiki Naik were among those who joined the protests.

Kelekar alleged that police had filed the FIR to 'harass' Chodankar while Sardesai said, "Modi needs to be magnanimous and should not indulge in such petty things." However, State Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has ruled out any political interference in the investigation of the case.


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