Maharashtra: Navi Mumbai man, accused of instigating Bandra lockdown violation, arrested for offensive social media posts

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Updated: Apr 15, 2020 4:40 PM

The police suspect Vinay Dubey's social media messages contributed to the protest by more than 1,000 migrant workers, most of them from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, near Bandra railway station on Tuesday.

Daily wage earners, numbering around 1,000, assembled at suburban Bandra (West) bus depot near the railway station and squatted on road at around 3 pm. (Photo: PTI)

A day after thousands of migrant workers gathered near Bandra railway station in Mumbai, violating the lockdown, Mumbai Police said that they have arrested one person for posting offensive social media posts. The arrested man has been identified as Vinay Dubey. Police said that he is a resident of Navi Mumbai and could have triggered the mass gathering of migrants.

Police suspect Dubey’s social media messages contributed to the protest by more than 1,000 migrant workers on Tuesday near Bandra railway station, a majority of them from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The protesting migrant workers were demanding that the state government make transport arrangements so that they can go back to their native towns and villages.

Police said that Dubey was arrested on Wednesday morning after he was questioned over his posts on Facebook and other social media platforms. It is believed that his messages on the social media platforms led to the gathering of large number of migrant workers.

According to police, Dubey had uploaded a video in which he demanded that the Maharashtra government make travel arrangements to ferry migrants to ther native places who are stranded due to the lockdown. He had also called for a nationwide protest if train services do not resume by April 18.

Police said that Dubey was initially detained by Navi Mumbai police and later handed over to the police in suburban Bandra.

The arrested an has been booked under IPC Sections 153 A (promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred between different groups), 117 (abetting commission of offence), 188 (disobedience of order by public servant), 269, 270 (negligent and malignant act likely to spread infection of disease danger to life) and provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, a PTI report said.

According to the health department, the number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra rose to 2,801 on Wednesday with 117 new patients being detected. Sixty-six new cases were found in Mumbai and 44 in Pune. Maharashtra is the worst-hit state by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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