Amaravati: A 66-year-old woman in Andhra Pradesh was arrested by the police for her Facebook posting, questioning the state government over its handling of the recent gas leak from LG Polymers in Visakhapatnam and for making certain allegations.
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) late Monday booked Poonthota Ranganayaki, a resident of Guntur town, after she posted on Facebook a list of 20 points criticising the government for allegedly trying to save the company management.
Gas leak from LG Polymers plant on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam on May 7 had killed 12 people and affected over 400.
The CID charged Ranganayaki with defaming the government and creating fear among the people through her post on a sensitive issue like gas leak
The CID in a statement said Ranganayaki was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 505 (2)(making statements conducing to public mischief), 153(A) (promoting enmity between two groups), 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 34 IPC and section 67 of IT Act, 2008.
The CID named Ranganayaki as the accused number one and another person Malladi Raghunadh as the accused number two in the case. It said his role was under investigation.
The woman was issued a notice under section 41-A of Criminal Procedure directing her to appear before the police officer concerned in connection with the case.
“If this is the first time they are committing the offence, the court can award them up to three years’ imprisonment and up to Rs 5 lakh cash fine. If they repeat the offence, they will be awarded five years’ jail term and Rs 10 lakh fine,” the CID said in a statement.
Ranganayaki, in her Facebook posting, had raised 20 points while criticising Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government for its handling of the gas leak incident.
She alleged that all the evidences in the case were destroyed, the company was not seized, its officials were not arrested and very cleverly styrene, the liquid assets of the company, was shifted and the attendance of the staff was manipulated.
The CID cautioned people against any posting on the social media making offensive comments against the government or government officials, defaming them or making false allegations to mislead people, creating fear among people, causing law and order problems or provoking enmity between two groups of people. It said strong legal would be taken in all such cases.