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Supreme Court orders release of arrested journalist

June 12, 2019

The Supreme Court has ordered the release of journalist Prashant Kanojia who was arrested on charges of defaming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The Supreme Court heard the plea filed by Kanojia's wife Jagisha Arora, challenging his arrest and ordered yesterday that the journalist should get an immediate release on bail. Although the court clarified that it does not approve the tweets posted by Kanojia, it still said that the "right of liberty of a citizen has been infringed" by the arrest.

The court said "We don't appreciate these tweets, but can you put him behind bars for this?"

Kanojia is accused of posting a video on social media site Twitter which showed a woman claiming a "relationship" with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and sending him a marriage proposal. The woman is seen speaking to reporters outside Yogi Adityanath's office in the video.

Kanojia was arrested from Delhi on Saturday and was kept in custody since then. Police has arrested five people so far including head of a private news channel and its editor, for allegedly posting objectionable content about UP Chief Minister.

The arrests have been widely criticized by the Editors Guild of India and several opposition leaders.

Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "If every journalist who files a false report or peddles fake, vicious RSS/BJP sponsored propaganda about me is put in jail, most newspapers/ news channels would face a severe staff shortage. The UP CM is behaving foolishly & needs to release the arrested journalists.

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