We have seen an increase in the usage of smartphones by the police officials across India. Recently we have been through the Bihar police receiving 1390 handsets and about Bengaluru police using new Twitter dashboard for monitoring complaints through social media. And now, an Indian newspaper journalist was arrested for positing inflammatory message on Whatsapp.
The incident took place in the state of Chattisgarh, India. Prabhat Singh, an Indian newspaper Journalist seems to have posted a message on Whatsapp by criticizing the police regarding the situation in Bastar region (Eastern-Chattisgarh).
Bastar region is said to a base to the Maoist rebels who are fighting with the Indian government for lands, jobs etc., for the tribal people across India. The similar incident took place a year ago when two journalists got arrested who wrote stories that support Maoist rebels. Last month, Malini Subramaniam, a freelance journalist is said to leave the region after being threatened and attacked on her house as she tried to cover the story of the local police. Well, then she reported of sexual violence by the security forces of Bastar region to the human rights violations.
In the Prabhat Singh incident, right groups stated that the journalists are being harassed officially from the security forces. D.M. Awasthi DGP of anti-Maoist Operations said that ‘Singh was arrested after the complaint over an inflammatory post and so he was charged under relevant sections.’
India’s National Human Rights Commission has demanded a report regarding the Singh’s arrest and torture in the custody. With this incident, several journalists associations have demanded the release of Singh and to protect the journalism laws.
Anyhow the issue seems to get upraised all over the country and we have to wait for the next action taken by the police. Well, with this incident it has been proven that, the police officials are been monitoring the social media regularly and are responding to the complaints in time. But as for the concern of journalists, they have the right to write and speak truth so as to share it with the public.