AAP criticises arrests, cases registered over posters targeting Modi


The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday criticised the arrest of six people in connection with over 100 cases that the Delhi Police said they have registered over posters put up in several parts of the city targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Delhi poster row: The cases have been registered under the Press and Registration of Books Act’s Section 12,(Twitter)

Special commissioner (law and order) Dependra Pathak said police have so far registered 114 cases and arrested these six people while they were delivering the posters to AAP offices in different localities.

In a tweet in Hindi, AAP questioned what was objectionable about the posters that 100 cases have been registered. “PM [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi, you probably do not know but India is a democratic country. So scared of one poster…,” AAP tweeted, adding that the “dictatorship of Modi government is at its peak”.

The cases have been registered under the Press and Registration of Books Act’s Section 12, which says every book or paper printed in India shall have printed legibly on it the name of the printer and the place of printing, and the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act’s Section 3 that relates to the defacing of property by writing or marking with ink, chalk, paint, etc except for the purpose of indicating the name and address of the owner or occupier of such property.

The cases have been registered at separate police stations in connection with the posters, in Hindi, that said: “Remove Modi, save the nation.” To be sure, the posters did not mention any author, party, or agency.

Pathak said 35 of the cases have been registered over e-posters while the other 79 over pamphlets and posters disseminated by different printing presses. “During our crackdown against suspicious printing presses, it was found that bulk of these posters had been printed in Loha Mandi, Khajuri Khas, and Seemapuri areas from where they were distributed in different localities.”

He said police have got more inputs about such printing units in other areas. “The raids are still going on and we will soon book more persons.”

The AAP shared videos and pictures of banners and posters being displayed across the city. “How many FIRs will be filed against us? Now, the same voices are coming from every nook and corner,” said an AAP functionary, who did not want to be named.

The visuals showed banners hanging from foot overbridges in Delhi. An AAP spokesperson said an official response on the matter will be issued later in the day.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana said the AAP is playing the victim card after violating the law. “First, they have put up posters abusing the Prime Minister anonymously and now when FIRs are being filed, AAP is saying there is no democracy in our country.”

Khurana said the law is being enforced in this case. “AAP has a right to put posters but as per regulations, these posters must mention their name, the name of the printer and publisher as well as the number of posters being published. AAP does not follow the law. If they have guts, they should put up posters abusing the PM with their names. They know people will not tolerate it.”

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