Guntur: “What’s on your mind” must be answered very carefully on Facebook, as a man in Andhra Pradesh discovered today. He has been arrested for posting, three days after Cyclone Hudhud devastated the city of Visakhapatnam – “I love you Hudhoodh. For nature having selectively punished those who cheated – feeling God is there”.
He wrote partly in English and partly in Telugu.
The Andhra Pradesh Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested the law student, Chaganti Rahul Reddy of Arundalpet in Guntur district, on charges of promoting enmity and hatred between different groups.
The police said his Facebook post was “irresponsible and anti-people.”
On October 18, the CID said, it had arrested another man Samudrala Uday Kumar of Secunderabad. Mr Uday Kumar had shared Mr Rahul Reddy’s post on his website. He spent a day in jail and was then released on bail. The police said they took time to track Mr Rahul Raddy; he allegedly removed his Facebook post after Mr Uday Kumar’s arrest.
Mr Rahul Reddy is said to be a YSR Congress activist in his final year of law at a local college. The post is being seen as a political comment on Visakhapatnam or Vizag voting for the BJP rather than the YSR Congress in the national elections earlier this year.
The CID’s Andhra Pradesh chief Tirumal Rao said the police took a serious view of the post because “when such a big calamity happens, people can’t poke fun or talk about it lightly, or post comments that create hostility between groups.”
Cyclone Hudhud had hit Visakhapatnam on October 12, flattening the key port city of Andhra Pradesh. 43 people died and there was extensive damage to property and infrastructure.