A YouTuber was charged and taken into custody after being accused of creating a ruckus during a state minister’s visit to his village, where he had questioned her on pending development projects.
Sanjay Rana, who is associated with YouTube channel “Moradabad Ujjala”, was charged after a video of the event surfaced online and a local BJP youth wing leader filed a complaint.
The YouTube journalist had confronted Minister of State for Secondary Education Gulab Devi, who is also the local MLA, when she visited Budh Nagar Khandua village in Sambhal district on Saturday for laying the foundation stone for a check dam.
Superintendent of Police Chakresh Misra said Rana was taken into preventive detention and released later on bail granted by the sub divisional magistrate.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav targeted the ruling BJP over the incident, linking it with its criticism of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in Britain on democracy in India.
“This is the picture of democracy and freedom of expression under the BJP government,” he tweeted, tagging a purported clip of Rana with a policeman who had tied his hand with a piece of rope.
विदेशी धरती पर भारत में लोकतंत्र की स्थिति पर बयान देने पर बवाल मचाने वाली भाजपा उप्र के संभल में इस पत्रकार की हालत भी देख ले, जिसे विकास कार्यों पर भाजपाई मंत्री से पूछे गए सवाल के कारण हिरासत में ले लिया गया है।
ये है भाजपा सरकार में लोकतंत्र व अभिव्यक्ति की आज़ादी की तस्वीर। pic.twitter.com/smhanrvILb
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) March 14, 2023
In a video online, the YouTuber is heard telling the minister that during her last visit she had said she is adopting the village. She had taken an oath in the temple to get the village’s work done, and sought help in getting herself elected, Rana had said.
“You had talked about getting the temple road paved but it’s still a rough road. What do you have to say about this?” he is heard asking. The minister then assures that she will get all those things done.
यूपी के संभल में पत्रकार संजय राणा ने मंत्री गुलाब देवी से तीखे सवाल पूछे, जवाब में पहले FIR फिर गिरफ्तारी हो गई.
जिस किसी को श्री राहुल गांधी के लोकतंत्र के कमज़ोर होने वाले वक्तव्य पर आपत्ति है – पढ़िए यह खबरpic.twitter.com/jsnkH6zWle
— Supriya Shrinate (@SupriyaShrinate) March 13, 2023
On Sunday, a day after the minister’s visit, a case was filed at Chandausi police station on the basis of local BJP youth wing leader Shubham Raghav’s complaint.
Raghav alleged that the “fake journalist” who carried a YouTube channel identity card and a microphone disrupted government work and used abusive and threatening language.
The SP said the allegations in the FIR are being probed.
Additional SP Shrish Chandra said Rana was charged for breach of peace On Twitter, Akhilesh Yadav said, “The BJP which created a hue and cry over a statement on foreign soil on the state of democracy in India should also see the condition of a journalist in Uttar Pradesh Sambhal, taken into custody for questioning a BJP minister on development work.” “This is the picture of democracy and freedom of expression under the BJP government,” he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)