Bhopal: Being the ‘default administrator’ of a WhatsApp group has landed a 21-year-old youth from Rajgadh in trouble; he has been languishing in jail for five months now, say reports. While his family says he is paying for a crime he didn’t commit, police say they only took action from the evidence they had at the time.
According to a report in The Times of India, Junaid, a BTech student, was arrested on February 15 under the IT Act and IPC Section 124 A (sedition). He was part of a WhatsApp group in which the administrator, Irfan, reportedly posted an objectionable forward. When some residents of Talen town complained, Junaid’s family says, Irfan left the group. They claim that then someone else became the administrator but he too quit. So, by default, Junaid became the admin and even though his family says he was in Ratlam at the time of the incident, police caught him over the objectionable forward.
Police say when they got the complaint, Junaid was the administrator. His family says the youth couldn’t take his exams because he was denied bail. “We even complained on the CM Helpline but to no avail,” said Junaid’s cousin Farukh to the daily. The bail was denied because Junaid was booked under sedition. The then Pachore police station in-charge Yuvraj Singh Chouhan said, “Junaid’s family did not say this when he was arrested. Now that the challan has been put up in court, they are claiming that he was the ‘default admin’. If they have any evidence, they should produce it. Even Irfan was arrested over the post but it turned out that Junaid was the admin at the time. We can only work with what evidence we have.”
Rajgadh SP Simala Prasad was quoted by the daily as saying, “We are verifying if other people were also the admins of the group. Junaid’s family has only mentioned that he was the admin by default. But they haven’t told us who else was the admin of the group.”