Gujarat Police detain TMC's Saket Gokhale over 'fake' tweet on PM's visit
- TMC leader Saket Gokhale arrested over Morbi tweet, reports NDTV
The Gujarat Police have detained Trinamool Congress's national spokesperson Saket Gokhale over a tweet endorsing an alleged fake news about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Morbi after a bridge collapse incident there, an official said on Tuesday.
Gokhale was apprehended from Jaipur in Rajasthan during the early hours by officials of the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Cyber Crime, Jitendra Yadav said.
"Based on a complaint we received from a citizen, an FIR has been lodged against Gokhale for spreading fake news about the PM's visit to Morbi. We detained him from Jaipur today morning and he is being brought here for further legal process," Yadav said, adding a formal arrest will be made after a COVID-19 test.
The FIR was registered under Indian Penal Code Sections 465, 469, 471 (all pertaining to forgery) and 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), police said.
Gokhale, 35, the spokesperson of the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC, underwent a heart surgery recently and was on a private visit to Jaipur, sources said.
He recently tweeted a news clipping which apparently appeared to have been published in a leading Gujarati newspaper.
The news clipping claimed a query under the Right to Information (RTI) revealed the Gujarat government had spent Rs 30 crore on PM Modi's visit to Morbi after a bridge collapsed there in October.
The bridge tragedy had claimed 135 lives.
Citing the news clipping which he attached in his tweet, Gokhale said, "RTI reveals that Modi's visit to Morbi for a few hours cost Rs 30 crore...Just Modi's event management and PR costs more than the lives of 135 innocent people." ACP Jadhav said, "When we contacted Gujarat Samachar, the management told us this news was never published and it was totally fake and created by someone to look authentic. Thus, we have detained Gokhale for spreading fake news."
The Trinamool Congress has claimed that the Gujarat Police action was a case of "political vendetta".
In a tweet, TMC national spokesperson and Rajya Dabha MP Derek O'Brien detailed the circumstances under which the arrest was made.
Gokhale took a flight at 9 pm from New Delhi to Jaipur on Monday. When he landed, the Gujarat Police was at the airport in Rajasthan waiting for him and picked him up. At 2 am on Tuesday, Gokhale called his mother and told her that the police were taking him to Ahmedabad and he would reach that city by noon, O'Brien claimed.
"The police let him make that two-minute phone call and then confiscated his phone and all his belongings," the TMC leader said on Twitter.
"The cooked up case is filed with the Ahmedabad cyber cell about Saket's tweet on the Morbi bridge collapse. All this cannot silence the All India Trinamool Congress and the Opposition. BJP taking political vendetta to another level," he alleged.
Jaipur airport police station SHO Digpal Singh said he had no such information.
"I have no information. Nobody informed us," he said.