Mumbai: Left red-faced after a protest by migrant workers during lockdown, authorities in Maharashtra took strict action Wednesday. They arrested a man for offensive social media posts and registered an FIR against a TV journalist over a false news report.
Navi Mumbai resident Vinay Dubey was arrested on early Wednesday. His arrest came for posting fals messages on his social media accounts. It allegedly led to the gathering of hundreds of migrant workers near suburban Bandra railway station Tuesday afternoon.
The accused, Vinay Dubey, was produced in a court. It remanded him in police custody till April 21. Dubey had uploaded a video on social media Tuesday. In it he demanded that the Maharashtra government make travel arrangements for migrants. The workers are stranded here due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown. Dubey said that they be allowed to go back to their native places.
Vinay Dube had also tweeted about the issue. He also called for a national-level protest if trains are not arranged till April 18 to ferry migrants workers to their native places.
Police said Dubey has been booked under IPC Sections 153 A (promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred between different groups), 117 (abetting commission of offence), 188 (disobedience of order by public servant), 269, 270 (negligent and malignant act likely to spread infection of disease danger to life) and provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
In a related development, an FIR has been registered against a TV journalist. He had reported that trains would restart. Police said it may have prompted the gathering in Bandra.
The accused, Rahul Kulkarni, based in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, has been detained. Sources said police are in the process of bringing him to Mumbai. In a recent news report, Kulkarni claimed Jan Sadharan (unreserved) special trains would resume for people stranded due to the lockdown.
Kulkarni has been booked under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant and 269, 270 (negligent, malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 117 (abetting commission of offence by public), said an official.
Openly defying the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, more than 1,000 migrant workers, most of them from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, had taken part in the Bandra protest.
They were demanding that the Maharashtra government make transport arrangements so that they can go back to their native towns and villages. Police had used mild force to disperse the crowd.
Meanwhile, the NCP termed the protest as unfortunate, while the Congress demanded a thorough probe. Both parties are constituents in the Shiv Sena-led government in the state.