Who is Abhishek Mishra, Activist Arrested for ‘Offensive’ Posts?

JANUARY 24, 2019

The special cyber cell of Delhi Police has arrested Abhishek Mishra, a social media activist from Bhopal, in a covert operation on Tuesday, 22 January. A release from Delhi Police said the arrest was due to him posting content online that hurt religious sentiments.

“Accused Abhishek Mishra was arrested yesterday in a case of PS Special Cell and investigated by its Cyber Crime Unit. The case was registered on the complaint of a private person about the posting of offensive and vulgar posts, and also posts that hurt religious feelings on online platforms operated by the accused. He has been produced before concerned court and taken on police remand. More than 10 laptops have been recovered from him.”

Official statement, Delhi Police

Mishra had been arrested previously in 2016 by the Madhya Pradesh police for criticising the government on social media. The then 19-year-old had posted online critiques of demonetisation, former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the BJP.

MP Police Object to Mishra’s Arrest
The state police claimed they were not informed of the action taken by Delhi police and called this an “inappropriate act.” They are also saying that Mishra’s covert arrest amounts to a violation of the Supreme Court and have lodged a strong objection with Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik.

The Madhya Pradesh Home Department sent a letter to Patnaik, wanting an investigation launched into the police operation. Additionally, the department wanted Delhi Police to inform them of action taken against the officer.

The family was also reportedly not informed of the arrest. Mishra’s father Ashok confirmed on 22 January that his son had been taken from his residence. The day after the arrest, when Mishra’s family could not trace him and his cell phone was unreachable, they lodged a missing persons report with the Bhopal police. Only after the subsequent investigation did the police find out that a team from the Delhi Cyber Police conducted the clandestine arrest.

Who is Abhishek Mishra?
On his popular social media handles, he claims to be a “media/news personality and RTI activist.” He has 63.4k followers on Twitter, more than 40k followers on Facebook and 30k subscribers on YouTube. On these, he regularly criticises the BJP’s policies and ministers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Source: TheQuint.com

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