Hyderabad activist booked for a tweet, alleges IPS officer did it for vendetta

In a video that Kashaf tweeted and also uploaded on Instagram, he had said that the ‘Million March’, an anti-CAA protest, had not been postponed.
Million March in Hyderabad was attended by lakhs.
Million March in Hyderabad was attended by lakhs.
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A social activist from Hyderabad has accused the police of filing a case against him for vendetta. The Hyderabad Cyber Crime police station booked Syed Abdahu Kashaf accusing him of conspiracy, promoting communal enmity and selling defamatory content over a tweet. The activist was informed about the case five months after he was booked on January 11.

Kashaf is a political strategist and a social activist, who was formerly the IT cell head for AIMIM. After quitting politics, he became a social activist and also participated in the anti-CAA protests.

Kashaf, who is a resident of Malakpet in Hyderabad, received a call on May 28 from the Hyderabad Cyber Crime station (CCS) informing him that a case had been boked against him for a tweet on January 4. Kashaf alleges that the case was filed on him for complaining about an officer.

In a video that Kashaf tweeted and also uploaded on Instagram, he had said that the ‘Million March’, an anti-CAA protest, had not been postponed. He uploaded the video on January 4, hours before the march took place in Hyderabad. He can be heard saying that the public should not believe in rumours that the protest has been cancelled. He also called upon the public to gather at Dharna Chowk.

He shared the video on social media with the following message, “#BreakingNews The #MillionMarchProtest is not cancelled please don't believe in rumours. Get united, don't fall up in the traps. 2:00 pm at Dharna Chowk, Indira Park, Hyderabad. Please share as much as possible- Syed Abdahu Kashaf.”

For this tweet, the Hyderabad police booked the activist under Section 505 (1)(c) (intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community), Section (502) (Sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter), Section 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), Section 120 (b) (120B. Punishment of criminal conspiracy).

The tweet was taken down by Twitter, based on a request by a government agency. It was one among the many videos removed from Twitter during the Anti-CAA protests in January this year.

On January 10, another social activist SQ Masood tweeted a video of Avinash Mohanty IPS, the then Deputy Commissioner for South Zone, using the lathi on a procession of anti-CAA protesters.

The next day, on January 11, Kashaf filed a complaint against Avinash Mohanty, based on Masood’s tweet. He accused the officer of misconduct against Indian citizens.

Syed Abdahu Kashaf (Left) and Avinash Mohanty (Right)

Speaking to TNM then, Avinash Mohanty had said that he resorted to lathi-charge as the protestors had blocked the road leading to traffic, blocking an ambulance as well.

Kashaf alleges vendetta

Kashaf has now reached out to Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, asking for action against Mohanty. “I gave a complaint on January 11 and on the same date Mohanty instructed one sub-inspector named Madhusudhan Rao, working under him to register this complaint against me,” he said in his complaint.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Cyber Crime) KVM Prasad, when asked about Kashaf’s allegation, replied saying, “No, there is nothing like that.” He did not make any further comments on the matter.

He added that Kashaf was not informed about the case earlier as the police were busy. “We were just busy so couldn’t inform the accused. Also, he is the accused not the complainant, we can inform whenever we want,” the officer claimed.

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