Indian journalist arrested over social media post


An Indian newspaper journalist has been arrested after allegedly posting an “inflammatory” message on social media, police said on Thursday.

Prabhat Singh had criticised police in a WhatsApp post about the situation in Bastar region of eastern Chhattisgarh state, where rights groups say journalists are facing official harassment from security forces.

Last year two journalists in the region were arrested under anti-terror laws over stories that allegedly supported Maoist rebels waging a long-running insurgency against the government in Chhattisgarh.

DM Awasthi, director general of the Chhattisgarh police anti-Maoist operations, said Singh “was arrested on a complaint over an inflammatory post”.

“We have charged him under relevant sections,” he told AFP.

Singh’s lawyer told AFP his client had been beaten in custody and denied food.

“The text messages were critical of police and of some elements close to the establishment,” Kshitij Dube added.

His arrest came a month after freelance journalist Malini Subramaniam said she was forced to flee the region after she was threatened and her house was attacked over her critical coverage of the local police.

Subramanian had reported extensively on human rights violations and allegations of sexual violence by security forces in the Bastar region.


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