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Cartoonist sent to seven-day police custody for sedition


The cartoonist who was arrested by Mumbai police on Saturday for allegedly displaying questionable caricatures of Parliament, the national emblem and the Constitution during an India Against Corruption (IAC) protest and posting the same on a social networking site, was remanded to police custody till September 16 after being produced before a holiday court on Sunday.


According to the Bandra-Kurla Complex police, Aseem Trivedi had put up the caricatures in the form of posters during an IAC protest in December 2011 at the MMRDA grounds.


"The cartoons by Trivedi depicted Parliament as a commode and showed the national emblem with wolves instead of lions. The cartoons were obviously aimed at creating unrest in the society," said C Bhosale, senior inspector of police.


After a lawyer, Amit Arvind Katarnavre, approached the police in January, they filed a complaint against Trivedi on January 30 under relevent sections of the Indian Penal Code, the National Emblem Act and the Information Technology Act.


"We had been trying to trace Trivedi, but to no avail. In August, the Bandra metropolitan court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Trivedi," said Bhosale.


Around 20 days ago, the BKC police dispatched teams to Lucknow and Kanpur to nab Trivedi. However, he was not found. The police, around a fortnight ago, learnt that he was in hiding in the Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district.


After ascertaining that he was living somewhere under the jurisdiction of the Ganga Ghat police station in Uttar Pradesh, the BKC police sought the help of its Uttar Pradesh counterparts, following which Trivedi was arrested and produced before a court there.


"Since Trivedi was told that there was a non-bailable warrant issued against him in Mumbai, he surrendered before the BKC police on Saturday. We have availed his custody till September 16," said Bhosale.


Meanwhile, Preeti Sharma Menon, an IAC volunteer alleged that she and other IAC volunteers wished to meet Trivedi to plan his defence procedure, however, they were not allowed to do so.


"After the order at the holiday court on Sunday, when Aseem tried to address the media, the police roughed him up badly and pushed him into the police van. We are shocked at the way an artist and an activist is being treated by the police," she said.


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