Andhra police arrest political satirist for offensive post on Dalit MLA

The police had detained the same person last month, for an offensive post on Andhra Minister Nara Lokesh.
Screenshot: TV9
Political satirist Ravi Kiran, who was detained last month by the Andhra police, was arrested in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday after TDP MLA Vangalapudi Anitha filed a complaint against a ‘defamatory’ post on his Facebook page.
Ravi Kiran runs a Facebook page called ‘Political Punch’, which has more than 1 lakh followers, and is popular among critics of the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
The police booked a case under the SC/ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act, after Anitha, the MLA from Payakaraopeta, who is also a Dalit, filed a complaint on April 19.
In her complaint, Anitha referred to a particular post, which commented on the MLA’s weight, and suggested that she was putting on weight, but the state was not witnessing any growth.
“During interrogation, Ravi Kiran agreed that he had posted the comments along with cartoons. Ravi Kiran said he was not aware that the MLA belonged to the Dalit community, claiming that his actions could not be deemed an offence under the SC/ ST Atrocities Act, but we have proof against him,” ACP Mohan Rao, told The New Indian Express.
“As he has been repeatedly committing offences against women people’s representatives from weaker sections by posting and publishing derogatory comments against them, he was arrested today under various sections, including Section 6 in the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act,” Mohan Rao added.
However, Ravi Kiran alleged that he was being targeted by the TDP government, because he was criticising them.
Many people have pointed out that several posts on the Facebook page ‘Political Punch’, were insensitive, and in bad taste.
Many of the posts also directly insult several senior TDP leaders, besides constantly attacking Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Last month, Ravi Kiran was involved in another controversy, when the Andhra police detained him, after a post that showed Naidu’s son and Andhra Minister, Nara Lokesh, asking his father to send him to “Peddala Sabha” (Upper House), while a banner of a kissing couple placed in front of the state’s new Legislative Council building, said that it was for “adults only”.
Following this, Andhra Assembly secretary Satyarayana filed a complaint.
The page has especially upped the ante ever since Lokesh’s elevation in the party and in politics, first becoming an MLC and then the Minister for Rural Development, Panchayat Raj and IT.
The police released Ravi Kiran in a day, but conducted searches at YSRCP’s headquarters, at Lotus Pond in Hyderabad’s Banjara Hills on the next day.
The police also reportedly served a notice to the party’s social media wing, accusing it of hiring Ravikiran and keeping him on its payroll.
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