A Facebook post, joking about the way Union agriculture and farmers welfare minister Narendra Singh Tomar was wearing his mask has put five people, including three minors, in trouble.
A report by Ajoy Ashirwad for The Wire said that the five people — Ajay Pratap Singh Sikarwar, Aman Singh, and the three minors — were booked under sections of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Those booked are residents of the Jaura village in Morena, Tomar’s constituency.
The Facebook post, of which The Wire, carried a screenshot has now been deleted. The post showed a photo of Tomar during a meeting with Panchayat leaders on April 24, wearing his mask under his nose.
The post had said, “Yeh has mask pehne ka asli tarika, kuch seekho. Yeh hai Shri Shri 1008 Narendra Singh Tomar (Pahad). Arey bhai, yeh nekar nahin, samjhao koi. (This is the real way to wear mask. This is shri shri 1008 Narendra Singh Tomar (Pahad). Someone pleae tell him that this is not an underwear).”
The action against the post followed a complaint by BJP worker Yash Sharma who said the photo was “objectionable” and “insulting” to not just the minister but party workers and the common people as well.
Aditya Singh Tomar, cousin of Ajay Pratap Singh Sikarwar, one of the accused, told The Wire that they were part of an unregistered group called ‘Bismil Sena’ that would regularly raise questions about government negligence. Recently, they had raised questions about the plight of migrant workers.
Tomar said that this disproportionate action against the five felt like some sort of vendetta.
The report quoted Tomar as saying, “The complaint in the case clearly looks like some sort of vendetta. The FB post was obviously satirical. One thing to be noticed is that the case was filed at Porsa police station although all the accused persons are from Jaura village, around 100 kilometres away. The complaint was not referred to the cyber cell, as is normally done.”
Read the entire report on TheWire.