The editor of a Gujarat-based news website was arrested yesterday, allegedly for publishing a story suggesting a "change of guard" in the state.
Dhaval Patel is a journalist and editor/owner of Face Of Nation. On May 7, the Indian Express reports, he wrote and published a news story headlined "Mansukh Mandaviya called by high command, chances of leadership change in Gujarat". Mansukh Mandaviya is a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat.
The story claimed, according to Express, that the "failure" of the Gujarat chief minister, Vijay Rupani, in handling the Covid-19 outbreak had been "been noted by New Delhi, and that Mandaviya was called by the BJP high command, due to which there were speculation of a leadership change in the state".
On May 11, officials from the Ahmedabad Crime Branch detained Patel from his home. He was booked for sedition under the Indian Penal Code, and under the Disaster Management Act.
The assistant commissioner of police, BV Govil, told News18: "As a precautionary measure in view of the coronavirus pandemic, Patel has been detained, not arrested, and sent to SVP Hospital for Covid-19 test."
Patel joins a long list of mediapersons who have been pulled up by authorities during the lockdown, in the form of form of police interrogation, notices, detention, FIR, arrest, and even assault.
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