Journalist arrested for taking dig at cop on WhatsApp

MERApolSinghPrabhat Singh a Dantewada, Chhattisgarh journalist was arrested in Jagdalpur for allegedly posting an ‘obscene message’ about a senior police officer on WhatsApp.

Singh was arrested after a complaint about the message that said ‘Only those who are sitting in mama’s lap have a problem with the journalists protection law. (‘Mama’ is a term commonly used by journalists in the region to refer to a top police officer in the Bastar range.

Singh was produced in court where he alleged he was ‘assaulted by policemen while in custody’. He was later remanded in judicial custody till March 31.

Singh was also charged with three other cases from 2015 – two of which were based on charges of alleged cheating linked to an Aadhaar facilitation centre that he runs in Dantewada, and another was linked to a story he had followed up.

The Congress party described Singh’s arrest as ‘an attempt to silence journalists’. Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel said he has asked the Home Minister to respond to his query on the matter, as they are attempting to silence journalists, given that similar arrests of local journalists have been reported.