VISAKHAPATNAM: Barely 20 days after he was detained by the Andhra police for posting ‘derogatory’ cartoons of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on a social networking site, political satirist Potuluri Ravi Kiran was arrested in Vizag on Tuesday over a “defamatory” post on Dalit TDP MLA Vangalapudi Anitha on his Facebook page Political Punch.info. He was booked under the SC and ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Acting on a complaint lodged by the Payakaraopeta MLA at III-Town Police Station in Vizag on April 19, ACP B Mohan Rao summoned Ravi Kiran for interrogation at the Women’s Police Station on Tuesday.
In her complaint, Anitha had alleged that Ravi Kiran had made a derogatory post on his Facebook page ‘Political Punch.info’. He commented that the MLA was putting on weight, while the state’s finances are getting slim.
“We are seeing growth only in your (MLA’s) weight, but not anywhere in the state,” the post read. “During interrogation, Ravi Kiran agreed that he had posted the comments along with cartoons. Ravi Kiran said he was not aware that the MLA belonged to the Dalit community, claiming that his actions could not be deemed an offence under the SC/ ST Atrocities Act, but we have proof against him,” ACP Mohan Rao, who is also in-charge of the SC/ST Cell-I told Express.
Ravi Kiran was booked under the Section 292, 509 of the IPC, Section 67 of IT Act-2008 and Section 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 and Section 3(1)(2) of The SC/ST (POA) Amendment Act-2015.
Police produced Ravi Kiran before the Forth ACMM Court which remanded him to police custody until May 23. He has been shifted to Visakhapatnam Central Jail.
“We will file a petition before the court to hand over Ravi Kiran to us with custody orders for further inquiry,” the ACP said.
However, Ravi Kiran defended himself. “What is wrong in saying that Anitha is putting on weight? How can it be defamatory and an offence under SC/ST Act? The TDP government is targeting me,” Ravi Kiran said. Meanwhile, YSRC IT wing in-charge Challa Madhusudhana Reddy said the government had the satirist arrested because he had used social media to bring to light government failures and corruption with sarcasm.
On his Facebook page Political Punch.info, Ravi Kiran trolled Payakaraopeta TDP MLA Vangalapudi Anitha commenting that the legislator was putting on weight even as the state’s finances were getting slim”. “We are seeing growth only in your (MLA’s) weight, but not anywhere in the state,” the Facebook post read
On April 21, the Andhra Pradesh police detained Ravi Kiran for his ‘derogatory’ posts on Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and his son and IT Minister Nara Lokesh
On August 5, 2014, Ravi Kiran was arrested for his Facebook comment on Araku MP K Geeta and booked under SC/ ST (POA) Act