Gujarat Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Gopal Italia was on Monday arrested in connection with a case registered in September last year for allegedly using defamatory words against state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and was granted bail.
The case was lodged in Umra police station in Surat on September 2, 2022, for using allegedly defamatory words against state BJP chief CR Paatil and Gujarat minister Harsh Sanghavi and also calling BJP workers “goons” in a video message uploaded on social media platforms.
Italia had uploaded the video messages after an alleged attack on his colleague Manoj Sorathiya in Surat in August 2022.
In the video message, Italia had used some allegedly objectionable words to describe Paatil and Sangahvi and had said the attack on Sorathiya was carried out by BJP goons.
The case was being investigated by Surat Crime Branch, which arrested Italia during the day.
After being released on bail, Italia said the police action was aimed at harassing him.
“Such statements are made by all political leaders against one another. How come an FIR was lodged only against me? They (police and government) are misusing their power,” he said.
The case was registered against Italia under Indian Penal Code sections 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (1)(b) (offending act inducing person to commit an offence against state or public tranquillity), and 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation) of the Indian Penal Code.
With inputs from News18