Goa cops dodge on why arrest anti-Modi Facebooker

Goa cops dodge on why arrest anti-Modi Facebooker

Goa Police chief T.N. Mohan Monday dodged questions on the need for custodial interrogation of a Facebook-user who is being "hunted" by the police for making anti-Narendra Modi comments.

On the very day Modi is to be sworn-in as India's 14th prime minister, Director General of Police Mohan said he was unclear about what the investigating officer meant by "custodial interrogation", even as the police appeared to back down on the question of 31-year-old Devu Chodankar's arrest.

"I do not know what that term (custodial interrogation) means," Mohan said.

Police inspector Rajesh Job of the Goa Police Cyber Crime cell May 20 sought what he called "custodial interrogation" of Chodankar, a shipbuilding professional, on three counts.

For "recovery of cyber forensic evidence at his instance", "establish motive of the crime", and to "find out any motive of larger game plan to promote communal and social disharmony in the state".

However, Mohan now claims he had no knowledge that the phrase was used by the police in their appeal to the court seeking the Facebook user's arrest.

The DGP, however, said Devu's presence was necessary for questioning as part of the investigation process. "We want to question him," Mohan said.

The police urgency to arrest Chodankar triggered an uproar on the social media as well as civil society, which has alleged a witch-hunt against the Facebook user.

Protestors even staged a demonstration outside the police headquarters last week, demanding the charges be dropped against Devu, who police claim has already skipped two summons.

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