Even as state police continue to gun for 31-year-old Devu Chodankar for making anti-Narendra Modi comments on Facebook, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Wednesday said such a case did not warrant arrest.
Addressing a press conference at the State Secretariat, Parrikar hit out at the Congress for sensationalising the issue, and mentioned instances of how social media users were arrested in Congress-ruled states for making unsavoury remarks against party leaders.
Parrikar claimed the police complaint against Chodankar was filed solely on the basis of Supreme Court guidelines.
Asked if police had shown over-enthusiasm while gunning for the shipbuilding professional, Parrikar said: "The case does not need arrest, according to me."
The police's attempts to arrest Chodankar for a "larger game plan to promote communal and social disharmony" in Goa have been dubbed as a "witch hunt" by the civil society as well as the opposition.
Parrikar, however, claimed the Congress was trying to create an issue out of a non-issue, and that the opposition party should take a look at how police in Congress-ruled states had also acted against people for commenting on the social media.
"In Karnataka, five MBA students were arrested this week for making comments on WhatsApp about Modi. They said 'Ab ki baar Modi antasanskar (last ritual)'," Parrikar said.
He also recalled an incident in Maharashtra where two girls were arrested for commenting on late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.
"Instead of shouting about personal freedom in Goa, they should look at what the Congress is doing in Karnataka," the chief minister said.
On the Chodankar case, Parrikar said the man made even more outrageous comments, implying that the chief minister and the cabinet had a hand in the murder of a civil society activist's son.
"Some of his earlier comments escaped attention," Parrikar said, adding that he too has been a victim of criticism on the social media.