Supporters and family members of cartoonist Assem Trivedi, arrested for allegedly posting seditious content on his web portal, today protested outside the residence of Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, who assured them of providing all possible help to the artiste.
Ashok Trivedi, father of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, today along with several protestors from Kanpur and neighbouring Unnao gathered outside Jaiswal's residence to express their outrage and demanded his release.
After meeting the protestors, Jaiswal, who is a Member of Parliament from Kanpur, promised that authorities will look into the charges made and will provide him with all possible assistance. He also said if needed he will try to approach the Maharashtra government to discuss the matter.
Trivedi was arrested on Saturday and produced in a Mumbai court on Sunday which sent him to police custody till September 16. He was arrested following a complaint that he had put up banners mocking the Indian Constitution during the Anna Hazare rally held last year in Mumbai and had also uploaded obscene content on his website.
Speaking to PTI, Aseem's father Ashok claimed that his son was innocent and that it was an irony that the 24-year-old had been arrested on charges of sedition when his grandfather Reva Shankar Trivedi had been a freedom figher and had gone behind bars for India's freedom struggle.
"Aseem's grandfather was a freedom fighter and had fought for the country's freedom. Do you expect Aseem to do something that insults the country? He only used his freedom of speech and in turn he has been charged of sedition," Ashok said.
Ashok said, his son Aseem, a native of neighbouring district Unnav, had an inclination towards drawing since childhood and had worked as a cartoonist with several Kanpur-based newspapers before moving to Delhi one-and-half year ago as a freelance cartoonist.
He exhibited his cartoons during the Anna Hazare rally held last year at the Bandra Kurla Complex after coming in contact with 'India Against Corruption', he added.
After an FIR was registered against Aseem, a Mumbai police team contacted Ashok at Shuklaganj in Unnao on August 30 which was when Ashok gave them Aseem's Delhi number.
Before his arrest, Aseem had come to Shuklaganj once on September one and was received like a hero by the locals, Ashok claimed while adding that the cartoonist's arrest came as a shock to him and the locals here.
Widespread protests are being carried out in Kanpur and Unnao against Aseem's arrest.
Press Council of India Chairman Justice Markandey Katju also supported Aseem yesterday when he criticised the cartoonist's arrest, saying that he has done nothing illegal.