Facebook post against BJP leader lead to arrest of an Editor from Ladakh

Facebook post against BJP leader lead to arrest of an Editor from Ladakh

Leh, Ladakh: The Jammu-based daily State Times, Leh correspondent TsewangRigzin was arrested on September 5 on the basis of a police complaint lodged by the BJP MP JamyangTseringNamgyal from Ladakh.
On 3 September, an unidentified member of a Facebook page called Ladakh in Media posted a comment on Jammu and Kashmir BJP leader Vikram Singh Randhawa. Subsequently, the police arrested Mr.Rigzin on 5 September, on pretext of being the administrator of the group. Mr.Rigzin is the general secretary of the Ladakh Journalists Union, an affiliate of the Indian Journalists Union.
On Tuesday, the Indian Journalists Union called Rigzin’s arrest a “blatant attack on freedom of expression”. Union’s president K Sreenivas Reddy called the arrest illegal and arbitrary. He said that the Delhi High Court had ruled out in 2016 that the administrator of a social media group could not be held responsible for posts by its members.
On Tuesday, the Indian Journalists Union also condemned the arrest of Mr.Rigzin. The editor of the Ladakh-based newspaper State Times, TsewangRigzin while sharing the union’s press release on his Facebook account, thanked the Indian Journalists Union for their support by saying “We shall overcome!”
Mr.Rigzin said that he offered all his support in order to track out the group member who made the post but at the same time it was diificult as his Facebook account was locked.
Mr.Rigzin said he received another call from the police on 5 September. “I was asked to come to the police station on pretext of a comment made by some of the group member,” he added that, “There, I was told that they would have to arrest me. I could sense that there was pressure from the top to do so, then I told them to proceed as per the law. I was arrested and immediately released on bail.”
However, some of the veteran leaders KagaThupstanTsewang, KagaNawangRigzinJora and KagaChheringDorjayLakrook strongly condemned the arbitrary arrest of senior journalist and general secretary of press club Leh.
The veteran leaders shot a press release which reads as, “We strongly condemn the arbitrary arrest of journalist and General Secretary of the Press Club LehTsewangRigzin on the pretext of a comment by an unidentified person against MP LadakhJamyangTseringNamgyal on Ladakh in Media Facebook Group.”
The press release also reads as, “We also condemn the defamatory comments made against MP Ladakh’s family by an unknown person and hence request the police to identify and arrest this person.”
It further added, “We also demand that the case against TsewangRigzin be dropped unconditionally.”

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