Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi’s arrest sparks outrage

The arrest of cartoonist and India Against Corruption activist Aseem Trivedi on charges of sedition has sparked outrage. Aseem has been sent to police custody for a week for allegedly posting ‘ugly and obscene’ content on his web portal.

Aseem’s family and other anti-corruption activists are standing by him claiming there was nothing unpatriotic about his cartoons.”Why should the government arrest our son, a cartoonist when there are so many corrupt leaders roaming around freely? His cartoon was only helping draw attention to corruption,” said Aseem’s father Ashok Trivedi.

“Our son has done nothing wrong. I am proud of my son. Corrupt leaders must be behind bars, not my son. His act cannot be called unpatriotic,” his mother Pratibha Trivedi said.

Cartoonist Mangesh Tendulkar said, “When there’s such a kind of curb on any cartoon, the authority should think twice, because even though it is a little aggresive, this is the most essential thing in democracy.”

Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju has defended Aseem Trivedi saying arresting a person who has not committed a crime is a crime in itself. He said, “In my opinion the cartoonist did nothing illegal. In a democracy many things are said, some truthful and others false. These are occupational hazards, and politicians, like judges, must learn to put up with them.”

Kanpur based cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, arrested for allegedly posting seditious content on his website, was on Sunday remanded to police custody till September 16 by a local court. Trivedi, who was arrested on Saturday on the basis of a complaint filed in December, was produced before a court in Bandra which remanded him to police custody till September 16.

“So policemen, who make such illegal arrests, cannot take the plea that they were obeying orders of political superiors,” he said.

Citing another example, he said, “During the Nuremberg trials, the Nazi war criminals took the plea that orders are orders, and that they were only obeying the orders of their political superior Hitler. But this plea was rejected by the International Tribunal which held that illegal orders should be disobeyed.”

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