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AP police arrests political satirist

He had mocked the state legislature on Facebook

Gulf News

Hyderabad: A political satirist known for his critical comments and cartoons of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders including Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his son, minister Nara Lokesh, was arrested by the police this morning.

A posse of policemen from Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh raided a rented house in Shamshabad near Hyderabad at around 3-30am and whisked away Inturi Ravikiran without informing any of his family members.

His wife, Sujana, told reporters that the policeofficers made the house owner call Ravikiran outside and took him away without informing the family.

Guntur district superintendent of police Narayana Naik confirmed that Ravikiran was arrested on the complaint of Andhra Pradesh Legislature Secretary that he had made some derogatory comments about the office.

Ravikiran, administrator of a satirical page ‘Political Punch’ on Facebook, had recently posted a photo of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Council building with the “A” Certificate and “Only for Adults”, superimposed on it. Normally Film Certification Board issue such a certificate for films with explicit sexual and violent content.

The image published by Ravikiran on his page was seen as a satire on the happenings in the legislature. But it apparently touched a raw nerve and on the advice of the Legislative Council Chairman, Chakrapani, the Secretary, AP Legislature Satyanarayana Rao lodged a complaint with the state director general of police and the Guntur police.

“A case has been registered against him under section 67 of the Information Technology Act and section 292 to Indian Penal Code”, the SP said.

“If anybody posts any derogatory comment against the state legislature, it will not be tolerated”, Satyanarayana Rao said.

Many on the social media commented that his arrest was a vindictive measure not only for posting the morphed photo of the state legislature but also for targeting Naidu and his family.

TDP MLC Janardhan who had raised the issue of abusive comments on Facebook with the chairman alleged that Ravikiran was on the payroll of the opposition, YSR Congress party, and running an abusive campaign against the ruling party.