In what was being considered as the biggest blow to the right of self expression to somebody as responsible and informed about the conditions prevailing in a country, say journalist. Little respite seems to have been extended to the Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi. According to the AFP reports, Hindustan Times has published the news regarding grant of bail to the Cartoonist who was held accountable on sedition charges earlier for drawing a satirical cartoon of Indian Emblem.
The court had spelled his intentions clearly to the police, early on Tuesday, regarding the court’s stance bail petition of Assem Trivedi in case the police fail to substantiate its case on Sedition. Aseem on the other hand was also not ready to accept the bail till the police agrees on dropping sedition charges against him. However, Maharashtra government is still undecided over the issue that it want to sustain its objections against the Cartoonist’s work or drop the case instead.
It is under section 124A of the IPC and some sections of the Information Technology Act that Aseem was facing trial under and has been arrested on Saturday and dispatched to the jail on police custody for seven days. Later after questioning the freelancing cartoonist and pro-democracy activist for a day that the police decided that it does not need questioning the cartoonist anymore and presented him in the court after which the cartoonist was whisked away in police vehicles towards the jail for judicial custody till the 24th September.
Trivedi’s arrest drew criticism for the government from all pro-democracy quarters situated both nationally and internationally. International agency “Reporters Without Borders” working actively for media rights didn’t delayed in asking for an instant and unconditional release of the anti-corruption activist.
Reporters Without Borders said “The prosecution and detention of the cartoonist are a gross violation of freedom of expression and information,”
Trivedi is said to have got himself entangled in the legal battle of sorts when the government decided to block down some 300 websites online that the government believed had the potential of sparking ethnic violence in country after the recently occurred ethnic violence.
Another international agency Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) based in New York also criticised the development and request immediate release of Assem. Bob Dietz, who is the coordinator of Asia Programme at the agency said, “Criminalising Aseem Trivedi’s efforts to highlight the serious problem of corruption is a perverse exercise of power and runs completely counter to India’s democratic principles,”
It has been felt in the recent times that the government is loosing tolerance and growing insecure at every act of criticism, Binayak Sen, angry response of government to Washington Post’s article on Manmohan Singh being a few in this list.
Source: HT/ AFP
Photo: AFP, Midday, IBN7, Firstpost, The Guardian