Drawing a cartoon of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Madhya Pradesh, another Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled State, proved too costly for the cartoonist of leading Indore-based eveninger Prabhat Kiran. He landed behind bars for his “crime.”
Harish Yadav (39) was arrested under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) for a cartoon of Mr. Modi published in the paper on September 20.
Mr. Yadav, who uses the pen name, ‘Musavvir', had drawn an undressed Mr. Modi with a skull cap held up by a stick blocking his rear.
The cartoon is apparently a reference to the Gujarat Chief Minister refusing to accept and wear a skull cap presented to him a by a Muslim cleric during his recent three-day fast in Gujarat.
Prabhat Kiran Editor Prakash Purohit criticised the police action, claiming it was an infringement on the fundamental right to the freedom of speech and expression.
He defended the cartoon, saying there was nothing objectionable in it and that it was widely appreciated by readers.