The aim is to verify his intention in drawing the controversial cartoons

The Mumbai Police have ordered a probe by the Assistant Commissioner of Police to investigate the charges against cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, Mumbai Additional Commissioner of Police (West Region) Vishwas Nangre-Patil told The Hindu here on Thursday.

“The investigation has been transferred to ACP G.T. Padwal. Three officers have been assigned for his aid. The team will verify the entire case once again,” Mr. Nangre-Patil said.

He said the main purpose of the team was to verify the cartoonist’s intention behind drawing the cartoons.

“The team will verify all the details of the case. Especially the intention behind drawing the cartoons will be taken very seriously,” he said.

Dalit leaders had alleged that Mr. Trivedi, who has been booked under sedition charges, insulted and hurt their feelings by allegedly mocking Buddhist symbols (the Ashoka pillar was depicted in a cartoon by Mr. Trivedi).

ACP G.T. Padwal told The Hindu that the team, after thorough investigation, would submit a report to the court.

“It is wrong to call it an SIT [Special Investigation Team]. It is not an SIT. I have been assigned the task of seeing if there are any lacunae in the investigation made by the Bandra-Kurla police so far. Since I do not have much staff under me, I have been assigned a few officers,” he said.

Senior police officials said the department would think of reviewing and revoking the sedition charges slapped on the cartoonist only after the probe was completed.

“Since it is a serious offence, its review and verification will take some time. We will come to the conclusion of revoking the charges after that,” Mr. Nangre-Patil said. He said the report would be separate from the charge sheet, which would be filed in the case.

“I will verify if proper Sections have been applied in the case. We will keep informing our seniors from time to time about the findings in the case, but we will submit the report before the court,” Mr. Padwal said.

Mr. Trivedi, who was released on bail on Wednesday, has been booked for sedition and under Sections of the Information Technology Act and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act. His website too has been banned by the Mumbai Police.

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