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Ex-Amnesty India Head Arrested, Bailed for Tweets on PM Modi’s Caste

Aakar Patel

Aakar Patel

According to the complaint, Patel tweeted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi belonged to the Ghanchi caste, which is “well-off” and is “meat-eating” and that Modi has taken on the manner of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and has turned vegetarian.

Akar Patel, journalist and former head of Amensty India said he was arrested and later bailed ealier this week. He was arrested in connection with a FIR filed Bharatiya Janata Party MLA identified as Purneshbhai Ishwarbhai Modi.

In his complaint with Surat City police, Modi alleged that Patel published three tweets that were objectionable to the Ghanchi community in Gujarat.

The Wire reported that, according to the complaint, Patel tweeted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi belonged to the Ghanchi caste, which is “well-off” and is “meat-eating” and that Modi has taken on the manner of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and has turned vegetarian.

Patel, in another tweet, wrote that those involved in the 2002 Sabarmati train carnage belonged to the Muslim Ghanchi community.

In his third tweet, on 27 June, Patel wrote: “The RSS and BJP always profit by the violence against other Indians, especially Muslims. Vajpayee more than Upadhyaya, Advani more than Vajpayee, and Modi more than Advani benefitted from this. We have to stop this cycle of violence and blood profit by the RSS and BJP.”

The Wire maintained that there was a factual inaccuracy with Patel’s first tweet. Contrary to Patel’s claim that Ghanchis were added to the OBC list in 1999 , P.S. Krishnan in an article in The Wire had stated that: “The caste has been on the list of socially and educationally backward classes (SEdBCs) in every part of India – since well before independence in the southern states, and later in the northern states and the Centre – but by its local name. In Gujarat, it is known as Ghanchi, Teli and, in some parts, Ghancha.”

Earlier in June, the Bengaluru Police had filed a case against Patel for allegedly trying to instigate minority communities in India to protest in a manner similar to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in the United States.

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