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Protest at cop action over Modi FB post

Panaji, May 24 (PTI): Political parties and social activists today protested the police action against a Goa youth whom the cops have accused of posting anti-Narendra Modi comments on a Facebook forum in March.

Junior shipbuilding technician Devu Chodankar, 31, booked under laws dealing with promoting enmity and outraging religious feelings, was denied anticipatory bail by a court on Thursday. He has since vanished, say Goa police, whose cyber crime cell is looking for him.

Chodankar’s lawyer Jatin Naik said his client had moved the Goa bench of Bombay High Court for anticipatory bail, and the case would be heard on Tuesday.

Protesters led by cyber crime expert Samir Kelekar and Congress and Aam Aadmi Party representatives today agitated outside the Goa police headquarters after being denied a meeting with the state police chief.

Kelekar alleged the police had filed the FIR to “harass” Chodankar. He questioned the police delay in summoning the youth, against whom a complaint had been lodged in March by businessman Atul Pai Kane, head of the BJP-led state government’s committee on investment and industrial policy.

“The police have claimed they want to access his laptop from where the message was posted on FB. The message was posted on March 23 and the summons were issued on May 12,” Kelekar said.

“According to them, there was delay on the part of Facebook to respond to their query. This is absolutely wrong. Two months after the post, what you will get on the laptop is the record that FB was accessed, that’s all.”

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar today ruled out any political interference in the investigation.