Other States

Goan shipbuilding professional faces jail for anti-Modi comment on social media

The Cyber Cell of the Crime Branch of Goa police are on the lookout for Devu Chodankar, a shipbuilding professional working in Mumbai, in a case against him for his controversial post in social media about Narendra Modi, the NDA Prime Minister-elect, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The case pertains to a complaint lodged by former chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industries – Goa (CII – Goa) Atul Pai Kane against him in March this year under sections 153(A) and 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), section 125 of the People's Representation Act and section 66-A of the Information Technology Act.

During the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Chodankar, in a post on Goa+, a popular forum on Facebook had claimed that if elected to power, Mr. Modi would unleash a 'holocaust'. He deleted his post subsequently.

Superintendent of Police Karthik Kashyap, Chief of Crime Branch told The Hindu on Friday that Mr. Chodankar had been absconding since Thursday after District and Sessions court rejected his anticipatory bail application.

The police want to probe if Mr. Chodankar had broader plans to “promote communal and social disharmony” in Goa.

“We are trying to locate him as certain further evidences have to be collected. We have already collected his IP address, mail ID from Facebook, Google, etc.”, Mr. Kashyap said.

In their plea before the trial court here, the police sought custodial interrogation of Mr. Chodankar “for recovery of cyber forensic evidence at his instance” and the motive of the crime.

Mr. Chodankar's legal counsel Jatin Naik told The Hindu on Friday that they have obtained the anticipatory bail rejection order and will approach the High Court on Friday.

While apologizing for his choice of words, Mr. Chodankar had justified his post subsequently on another local Facebook forum, Goa Speaks. He had stood by the substance of his argument, calling it his crusade against the “tyranny of fascists”.

Mr. Kane's complaint said Mr. Chodankar had threatened Facebook users from voting for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.

“My complaint was for making inflammatory statements and trying to create communal disharmony, and his refusal to withdraw his comments,” Mr. Kane told The Hindu on Friday.

“The comments were in bad taste and he refused to take back the comments. You cannot use Facebook to say anything you want to say,” he said.

A joint protest meeting has been called outside city police headquarters at 12 noon on Saturday, organised by Mr. Samir Kelekar, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai alumnus who has been campaigning to drop police action against Mr. Chodankar.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 8:43:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/goan-shipbuilding-professional-faces-jail-for-antimodi-comment-on-social-media/article6041143.ece

Next Story