Continuing their action against people putting up posters critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Delhi Police on Saturday said they arrested 25 in as many cases registered at different police stations across the city even as they were trying to ascertain the key players behind the posters.
Police registered the FIRs under sections of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act. The number of first information reports (FIRs) and arrests could increase in the coming days as more posters reading "Modiji humare bachon ki vaccine videsh kyon bhej diya? (Why did Modi send vaccines meant for our children to foreign countries?)" are being found across the city, senior police officers privy to the development said.
Since the legal sections mentioned in the FIRs were all bailable, a majority of those arrested till Saturday afternoon were released on bail from the concerned police stations itself. Those arrested after Saturday afternoon were likely to be released by late in the night after completing the legal formalities, the officers said.
The police are trying to ascertain if all the posters were printed at one printing press and whether the order for the same was given by an individual or any political party. However, the initial investigations in most of the registered cases and interrogation of the arrested people have not yielded much of a result.
A few of the arrested persons claimed that they were given money for pasting the posters. The police are now trying to identify the people who paid the money. Their questioning may lead to the key players behind the critical posters, the officers said.
The first such posters, nearly 1,800 in number and not bearing any logo or mention of any political party or organisation, were found in east Delhi's Kalyanpuri between Wednesday and Thursday, after which a case was registered and four persons were arrested. Their interrogation pointed towards the involvement of a local politician.
"We are probing the role of the politician. Our investigation is still on. It's too early to comment on any individual's involvement," said a police officer, who did not want to be identified.
As similar posters were found in other parts of the city from Thursday onwards, more FIRs were registered. Till Saturday evening, the number of FIRs reached 25 in 13 different police districts.
All the cases were registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and other sections including section 3 of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act across various districts. In total, 25 people were arrested till Saturday evening.
As per details obtained from the police, except New Delhi and outer-north, all other 13 districts registered between one and four cases each. In four cases registered by the north-west district, two people were arrested while the outer, west and north-east districts filed three cases each.
Two cases each were registered in the south, central and Rohini districts while the remaining six districts – Shahdara, Dwarka, North, south-East, south-west, and east – registered one case each. West district police made five arrests, while in the east and central districts, four people each were arrested.