Panaji, Goa: The Goa-based marine engineer booked for anti-Narendra Modi remarks on Facebook today said that his post was a reaction to BJP inducting controversial right wing leader Pramod Muthalik into the party, and maintained the issue had been blown out of proportion.
Devu Chodankar said he deleted the post soon after Mr Muthalik, chief of Sri Ram Sene, was dropped from BJP following public outrage after his induction in March.
“It’s a petty issue which has been blown out of proportion. The post was a knee jerk reaction to Pramod Muthalik’s induction in BJP in Karnataka. As soon as he was removed from the party, I deleted the post,” he told PTI in his first media interview after the controversy broke out.
The 33-year-old has been booked by Goa’s Cyber Crime cell for posting anti-Modi and anti-BJP remarks on the popular networking site in run up to the Lok Sabha elections.
After he was booked, Mr Chodankar filed an anticipatory bail application in the local court fearing arrest. His plea was rejected. Cyber Crime cell opposed the plea and claimed they require his custody for interrogation.
The engineer, who was out of station when activists protested against his possible arrest, said he had congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and newly-elected Goa MPs Shripad Naik and Narendra Sawaikar after the BJP’s victory in polls.
Mr Chodankar said that since May 16, when he was issued summons by police, he had stopped logging into his FB account.
“After posting the (anti-Modi) message, I have stopped logging in it. It all depends on inquiry and whether I would be allowed to log in again,” Mr Chodankar said.
Mr Chodankar, called for questioning on June 2, said he will appear before the Investigating Officer and cooperate in probe. “Being a law-abiding citizen, I will extend all cooperation to the authorities regarding this matter,” he added.
“He has complete faith in the Constitution and in the democratic principles enshrined in it,” his lawyer Jatin Naik said.
Mr Chodankar has been booked under IPC and IT Act, among others, and charged with “promoting communal and social disharmony” in the state.