Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday instructed authorities to withdraw a sedition case slapped against the man from Rajanandgaon who was arrested for reportedly spreading a fake video message on power cuts.
“Freedom of speech is the basic right provided to the people. Such things (slapping of sedition case) happened during the previous regime but we are strong supporters of freedom of speech,” the Chief Minister said in a press statement.
He also appealed people to be moderate while expressing themselves on critical public issues. Chief Minister has also asked officials to ensure such cases do not happen again.
Notably, Chhattisgarh State Power Company had registered a FIR at Kotwali police station, Rajnandgaon against the person under section 124 A of the IPC (Sedition) and 505 (1)(b) (with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite) on Wednesday.
The case was registered after a video surfaced saying an inverter company had given funds to the state government to snap power supply for 10-15 minutes after every two hours so as to increase its sale in the state.
Later on, police had nabbed Mangelal Agrawal (53) a resident of village Musra under Dongargarh police station. The video clip and the mobile phone used were also seized.
Meanwhile, BJP and Congress have reacted sharply over the entire episode. BJP state president Vikram Usendi while condemning the ruling Congress government claimed that the state government in place of improving the power scenario in the state was trying to censure people commenting and writing on the issue.