New Delhi: Cartoonist and anti-corruption activist Aseem Trivedi accepted the request of the Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and ended his eight-day fast to demand the government scrap a provision of the Information Technology Act.
Trivedi, who was arrested in September under sedition charges as well as section 66 (A) of the IT Act for his controversial cartoons, began his fast on December 8 at the Jantar Mantar here to demand immediate scrapping of the law.
He ended his fast after Kejriwal requested him to end not to waste his life and but work towards “uprooting this government”.
“The government has turned a deaf ear towards people, only way left is to shunt it out. The youngsters are fighting for their freedom of expression. Section 66(A) of the IT Act is totally unconstitutional and youth have been wrongly arrested under this law,” Kejriwal said.
Insisting that there was a need to repeal the provision, Trivedi said: “We are following the Gandhian way of revolt but nobody paid heed to us. We don’t need such representatives who don’t listen to people.
“Through Save our voice, campaign against internet censorship, we tried to put forth our point in front of the government but they didn’t listen to us. The country needs a political option.”
Section 66(A) of IT Act has provision for punishment for sending offensive messages that is “grossly offensive or is menacing”, “any false information causing annoyance, insult, danger”, “causing inconvenience”, and “deceiving or misleading recipient” via electronic mail.
The guilty can face up to three years in jail and a penalty.
There was an uproar over the Act recently when two girls in Thane near Mumbai were arrested for a Facebook post questioning virtual shut down in the city following Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackrey’s death. The girls were released later.
Few days after that, a 19-year-old boy was questioned by the police in Palghar of Maharashtra over an alleged Facebook post against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.