Twitter has removed a controversial cartoon message tweeted by the Gujarat BJP depicting people on death row for their roles in the 2008 Ahmedabad bombings for breaking the microblogging site’s rules. The BJP tweet showed a cartoon of men wearing skull caps in the noose and long beards with captions reading “Satyamev Jayate” and “no forgiveness to those who spread terrorism”.
On February 19, the BJP State had tweeted the caricature of its official verified handle @BJP4Gujarat. The cartoon was based on the judgment of a special court, handed down on February 18, which sentenced 38 people to death and 11 others to life imprisonment for their role in the 2008 serial bombings in Ahmedabad, during which 56 people were killed and more than 200 injured. It would be a “historic” judgment in which a record number of 38 people were sentenced to death.
Read also | Ahmedabad blasts convicts beyond reform, court observes
Shortly after the BJP tweeted the cartoon, the post sparked controversy with netizens signaling to Twitter to remove it. Many of them defended the post. Twitter reportedly deleted the post for violating the rules.
When contacted, BJP state spokesperson Yagyesh Dave told DH, “There was nothing wrong with the message. All the media had reported the court order with similar images. Our post has been removed because people who support terrorism have reported it to Twitter. We will certainly seek action against Twitter.” A similar cartoon on the BJP’s Instagram page sparked huge controversy.
The judgment in the 2008 bombings was also mentioned at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign rally in Uttar Pradesh. “When I was serving Gujarat as Chief Minister, bombings took place in Ahmedabad…there was a conspiracy of explosions in other cities as well. I will never be able to forget that day when the earth was reddened with the blood of the victims… I picked up the blood soaked ground and swore that my government would find these terrorists even from the pataal (underworld) and punish them,” Modi said in his election speech.
Also Read: Justice delayed, says relative of man acquitted in Ahmedabad blasts case
Meanwhile, Gujarat Congress Spokesman Manish Doshi said, “It is unfortunate that the BJP is doing politics rather than a judiciary and giving it a religious color. Terrorism has no religion. The judgment brought justice to all who had to suffer because of the terror. The judgment sent the message but the BJP is trying to politicize it for its electoral gains.
The special court said in its 7,015-page judgment that the convicts deserved death because letting them join society is tantamount to releasing a “man-eating leopard” in public, which will consume innocent people. The court said that “it is clearly established that if these defendants are sentenced to less than life imprisonment until their last breath, they can repeat the offense and would also assist similar activities. Therefore, I believe that ‘there will be peace in society if they are in prison until their last breath.’
“The second remarkable aspect is that after the July 2008 incident, a total of 66 defendants were arrested and 78 were arrested in the past few years. During the arrest of the defendants initially until 2021, no case of serial bombings has not happened in any state or city in india it is a fact and so if these defendants stay in jail till their dying breath i believe that peace in the society will not be violated and people can live without fear,” the judge said in his order.
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