Journalist Prashant Kanojia was on Tuesday arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police from his Delhi residence. While details remain unavailable, news agency ANI said that this was in connection with a social media post about Ayodhya's upcoming Ram Temple.
According to a tweet by The Caravan, the FIR states that Kanojia had shared a morphed image of Hindu Army leader Sushil Tiwari. Reportedly, he had called for a ban on SCs, STs and OBCs entering the Temple.
For those residing under a rock, decades of unrest over the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute had recently been put to an end once and for all with Prime Minister Modi laying the foundation stone for the temple in a socially distanced ceremony on August 5. While many had hailed the "historic" moment, others lamented the occasion as a "dark day".
A quick perusal of Kanojia's Twitter handle shows that he had made several posts on the upcoming mandir. He had suggested that President Kovind was not being invited "because they consider you untouchable" and in another post alleged that Dalits in UP are persecuted on a daily basis by "RSS people".
"Those who are happy for the OBC Ram Mandir should know that when the Mandal Commission made a provision of 27% reservation, the BJP had dropped the government and started the so-called Ram Mandir movement. Before that there was no Ram temple on the agenda of BJP / RSS. Ram temple movement took place in protest against OBC reservation," read another post from August 7.
Following the news of his arrest, many have expressed criticism at the way the situation has been handled.
"The arrest of Bahujan journalist @PJkanojia is testimony of the dictatorial attitude of the Uttar Pradesh government. Now the government has a problem with people reading and writing and raising their voice," wrote Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Azad.
Drawing a parallel with the Emergency period he urged that Kanojia be released immediately.