The arrest of Dalit writer Kanwal Bharti by Rampur police for an alleged Facebook post over the suspension of IAS official Durga Shakti Nagpal reached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Wednesday.
A local social activist Nutan Thakur filed a complaint with the panel, seeking its intervention on Tuesday’s arrest of Bharti.
Terming the arrest of the Dalit thinker and writer as “improper and hasty”, Thakur asserted that in no way were Bharti’s comments on the social networking site Facebook meant to “spread communal animosity” as charged by the police, and added that they were “only an intellectual assertion on certain events, administrative acts and a few persons”.
Thakur further accused the Akhilesh Yadav government of indulging in “an open abuse of administrative power” and sought an enquiry and strict action in the matter by the NHRC.
She has also sought adequate compensation to Bharti for the arbitrary and hasty arrest.
Meanwhile, the Dalit thinker said Wednesday that his laptop, which was impounded by the Rampur police Tuesday, has not been returned by the police.
“Police took away my laptop and computer, saying they would return it immediately, but that has not been done so far. The computer has, among other things, around a dozen of my unpublished books and about 200-250 articles,” Bharti told the social activist on phone.
Bharti, who strongly criticised the Uttar Pradesh government over its handling of the Durga Shakti Nagpal issue, was arrested Tuesday after a complaint by Shanu Khan, an aide of state Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan.
Police charged him with attempts to disturb communal harmony in the area through Facebook comments, and through utterances elsewhere. Bharti was later granted bail.
The 28-year-old Indian Administrative Service officer Durga Shakti Nagpal was suspended from her position as sub-divisional magistrate of Noida, after she allegedly ordered the demolition of a boundary wall of an under-construction mosque. The state government, in its suspension order, maintained that her action put communal amity at risk.
She had earlier clamped down on illegal sand mining activities on the banks of rivers Yamuna and Hindon.