After being arrested for a tweet, journalist Prashant Kanojia finally granted bail from the high court. Kanojia had been jailed for two months for a social media post.
On 21st October, his wife, Jagaisha Arora tweeted:
प्रशांत को हाई कोर्ट से जमानत मिल गई है. मेरा न्यायपालिका और बाबा साहेब के संविधान पर विश्वास रंग लाया. मैं सभी लोगों का शुक्रिया अदा करना चाहती हूं जो मेरी लड़ाई में मेरे साथी बने. सबको शुक्रिया.@PJkanojia लव यू pic.twitter.com/pDAj9vVnQC
— Jagisha Arora (@jagishaarora) October 21, 2020
On august 18th, Prashant Kanojia was arrested by the state police for allegedly posting a morphed photograph of leader of the Hindu Army, Sushil Tiwari, regarding the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The FIR was filed on the basis of a complaint by Sub-inspector of the police station, Dinesh Kumar Shukla who found the post objectionable.
Jagaisha Arora said, “The UP police came to our house half an hour [before the arrest]. Almost all of them were wearing civil clothes, only one cop was in police uniform. They arrested Prashant and said, ‘Tweet ka maamla hai.’ When I asked them which tweet are they talking about, they said, ‘Bohot tweet kiye hain tumney, upar sey orders aaye hain humein, follow toh karna padega’
Many deemed Kanojia’s arrest to be politically motivated and “driven by vendetta“. This was the third time the UP Police registered an FIR against Kanojia for a social media post. In June 2019, Kanojia was also arrested on the basis of another complaint by a sub-inspector, Vikas Kumar from Lucknow, for a tweet about Yogi Adityanaath. That time, he was released within a week on the basis of a Supreme Court order.
This time around, Jagaisha Arora, Kanojia’s wife, found it much more difficult to avail bail. She had been trying to sustain a social media campaign alongside official requests and their inter-caste marriage became heavily scrutinised. Jagaisha also was subjected to many comments that wished death to Kanojia.
Kanojia’s arrest was heavily criticised. Many activists including Teesta Setalvad, writers Meena Kandasamy, Politburo member of Communist Party of India Kavita Krishnan, and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani, among others, released a statement urging the government to immediately release Kanojia. Oxford University, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jadavpur University and several Indian Institutes of Technology also were signatories.