AP Police arrest man for posting morphed images of CM Naidu
On Monday, The Andhra Pradesh police arrested another man for allegedly posting defamatory content against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh on social media. The Chittoor police arrested 30-year-old, Basavaraju from Kaliganuru village of Santhipuram mandal, for morphing pictures of Naidu and Lokesh. Stating that he had replaced faces of thieves, beggars and eve teasers with that of the CM's, the Deccan Chronicle reported that the case was registered at Gudipalli police station in Naidu's Kuppam constituency. The Times of India reported that the accused was reportedly running a page titled 'YSRCP unofficial' and was also spreading content on WhatsApp. Quoting sources, the TOI report adds that a TDP leader, Subbu had lodged the police complaint. Media reports add that Basavaraju was booked under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 355 (criminal force with intent to dishonour person), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation) of the IPC. This is not the first such arrest made by the Andhra police citing 'defamatory' content on social media. In May this year, the Visakhapatnam police picked up a Bengaluru-based software professional, Ippala Ravindra, for posting objectionable comments on Facebook against TDP MLA V Anitha. Many people claimed that Ravindra was on the YSRCP's payroll, as his page was filled with material that supported the party and YS Jagan. However, the party denied the allegations.
A week earlier, the Andhra police had arrested political satirist Ravi Kiran, after the same MLA filed a complaint against a 'defamatory' post on his Facebook page. Ravi Kiran runs a Facebook page called 'Political Punch', which has more than one lakh followers, and is popular among critics of the ruling TDP. However, many people have pointed out that several posts on the Facebook page 'Political Punch', were insensitive, and in bad taste. Meanwhile, Ravi Kiran alleged that he was being targeted by the TDP government, because he was criticising them. In April, the Andhra police also conducted searches at YSRCP's headquarters, at Lotus Pond in Hyderabad's Banjara Hills, a day after they released Ravi Kiran, who they had detained earlier, for another defamatory post. Police also reportedly served a notice to the party's social media wing, accusing it of hiring Ravi Kiran and keeping him on its payroll.