TMC’s Saket Gokhale arrested by Gujarat Police for 3rd time

Gokhale was arrested on two occasions this month for allegedly spreading fake news regarding the cost of PM Modi’s visit to Morbi.

New Delhi | Updated: 30 December, 2022 3:49 pm IST
TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale with party chief Mamata Banerjee (file photo)

Trinamool Congress spokesperson Saket Gokhale was arrested by the Gujarat Police from Delhi on Thursday night for allegedly misusing money sourced through crowd-funding. This is the third time he has been arrested by the Gujarat Police this month.

According to media reports, Gokhale was arrested by the Cyber Crime Branch and taken to Ahmedabad to complete legal processes. He was reportedly picked up from the Banga Bhawan at Hailey Road in New Delhi around 8 pm on Thursday.

He was arrested for the first time by the Cyber Crime Branch on December 6 for allegedly spreading fake news regarding the cost of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Gujarat’s Morbi town following a bridge collapse that killed more than 100 people.

He was picked up when he landed at the Jaipur airport from New Delhi.

“RTI reveals that Modi’s visit to Morbi for a few hours cost ₹30 cr. Of this, ₹5.5cr was purely for “welcome, event management, & photography”. 135 victims who died got 4 lac ex-gratia each i.e. ₹5 cr. Just Modi’s event management & PR costs more than life of 135 people,” Gokhale had tweeted. This tweet was flagged as fake news by the government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB).

In Morbi, a colonial-era hanging bridge collapsed on October 30, killing over 130 people, just four days after it was reopened upon renovation. The probe revealed the municipal authorities’ mismanagement as the contractor who had undertaken the renovation work had failed to acquire all necessary clearance before reopening the bridge for the general public.

Gokhale was granted bail by a court on December 8 but was arrested by the Morbi Police soon after for the same offence registered separately.

The TMC raised the issue of his arrest by the Gujarat Police in the winter session of parliament, calling it harassment.

On December 12, a delegation of the TMC parliamentary party also met officials of the Election Commission of India in New Delhi and raised the violation of the Representation of the People Act regarding his arrest.

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