Booked for Predicting Rupani Exit in 2020, Gujarat Scribe Stands 'Vindicated'
In 2020, Face of Nation editor Dhaval Patel was arrested for writing about a possible leadership change in Gujarat.
Almost 16 months after he was booked for sedition over a report indicating a possible leadership change in Gujarat due to rising criticism over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis, Dhaval Patel, the editor of the news portal Face of Nation on Sunday, 12 September, said that the recent resignation of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was nothing short of a "vindication", reported The Indian Express.
According to the report, Patel had tendered an unconditional apology as he realised that the "state wanted to drag on the case" and that it was bound to affect his career.
"It was apparent that the state wanted to drag on the case and I did not want the same as it was bound to affect my career. So the government counsel proposed that I tender an apology and I left the country."Dhaval Patel
Patel, who continues to write for Face of Nation, maintained that his 2020 story was written only after "confirmation from trusted sources," which he had cross-checked.
What Did the Article Say?
The article, published on 7 May 2020, had suggested that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command may remove Rupani from his post and replace him with Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
Fifteen months later, on Saturday, 11 September, his prophecy came true as Rupani resigned from his post.
Several users took to social media to point out the same, with some even questioning if the case against him would be taken back. We bring you some of the reactions.
The Ahmedabad Crime Branch had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Patel under Section 124(a) that deals with sedition and the Disaster Management Act.
After Patel's arrest, the Editors Guild of India, too, had issued a statement condemning “a growing pattern of misuse of criminal laws to intimidate journalists in different parts of the country.”
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