BJP youth wing workers booked for protesting Thakkar's arrest

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Nagpur, Nov 1 (PTI) Police on Sunday filed a case against some Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) workers for protesting against the arrest of Twitter user Sameet Thakkar, who posted objectionable comments against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and minister Aaditya.

An official of the Sadar police station said the activists protested at the Akashwani Square here on Saturday evening without police permission. They carried flags of BJYM, BJP's youth wing, and wore aprons with penguin photos on them.

The protesters booked include Shivani Dani Wakhare, whose Twitter bio describes her as Maharashtra BJYM general secretary. The others booked are Parendra Vickey Patel, Yogesh Ruprao Pachpor, Rahul Khangare, Alok Pande and 40 others, a police statement said.

A case has been filed against them under sections 143, 149, 188, 269 and 270 of Indian Penal Code read with section 3 and 4 of The Epidemic Diseases Act, sub-section 51 (b) of Disaster Management Act, 2005 for unlawful assembly and violation of coronavirus guidelines, police said.

A court in Nagpur on Friday extended Thakkar's police custody till November 2.

Thakkar, who has 59,000 followers on Twitter and is followed by some prominent government functionaries on the social media platform, was arrested from Rajkot on October 24 over posts on Twitter, including his `Baby Penguin' remark against Aaditya Thackeray.

Detractors of Aaditya Thackeray have been taunting him with that sobriquet after he insisted on bringing penguins in the Mumbai zoo.

The municipal corporation, controlled by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, spent crores on the project that included the cost of creating an artificial environment for the flightless birds.

At the time of the arrest, police had described Thakkar as a BJP functionary. However, the BJP denied Thakkar being either a functionary or a member of the party's IT cell.