Trinamool Congress leader Saket Gokhale has been sent to police custody till December 8 over an alleged fake tweet regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Morbi after the recent bridge collapse incident that had left 135 people dead.
Gokhale had recently shared a news clipping published in a leading Gujarati newspaper, which claimed that a query under the Right to Information (RTI) revealed the Gujarat government had spent Rs 30 crore on PM Modi's visit to Morbi.
The Press Information Bureau (PIB) on December 1 flagged the tweet as "fake" and said that no such RTI response was given. "Quoting an RTI, It is being claimed in a tweet that PM's visit to Morbi cost Rs 30 crore. This claim is fake. No such RTI response has been given," the PIB tweeted.
Following this, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Kothari filed a complaint in Ahmedabad. Gokhale was picked up from Rajasthan's Udaipur and once he landed there. He was brought to Ahmedabad, confirmed TMC's Derek O'Brien.
"TMC national spokesperson @SaketGokhale arrested by Gujarat Police. Saket took a 9 pm flight from New Delhi to Jaipur on Mon. When he landed, Gujarat Police was at the airport in Rajasthan waiting for him and picked him up," O'Brien tweeted on Tuesday morning.
"At 2 in the morning on Tue, he called his Ma and told her that they are taking him to Ahmedabad and he would reach Ahmedabad by noon today. The police let him make that one two-minute phone call and then confiscated his phone and all his belongings," he added.
He also accused Ahmedabad's cyber cell of cooking up a case against Gokhale. "The cooked up case is filed with the Ahmedabad cyber cell about Saket's tweet on the Morbi bridge collapse. All this cannot silence @AITCofficial and the Opposition. BJP taking political vendetta to another level," he wrote.
O'Brien also later reached Ahmedabad to assist in Gokhale's defence.
WB CM supports Gokhale
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee also backed Gokhale and condemned the BJP government's "vindictive attitude". She also stated that Gokhale made no mistake.
"It's a very bad, and sad (incident). Saket (Gokhale) is a bright man. He is very popular on social media. He has made no mistake," said Banerjee.
"I condemn this vindictive attitude. He (Saket) has been arrested because he tweeted against the Prime Minister. People also tweet against me... We are really feeling sorry about the situation," she added.