HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on 3 May regarding Mr. Kamal Shukla who is facing sedition charges for posting a cartoon about the recent developments in the higher judiciary. Mr. Shukla is a resident of Kanker district in Bastar area of Chhattisgarh. He is the editor of the ‘Bhumkaal Samachar’, a local e-news portal which focuses on the rights of adivasis in the Bastar area.
A case of sedition under Section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against Mr. Shukla at the Kotwali police station for posting a cartoon on his Facebook page. The complainant in this case resides in Rajasthan and filed the complaint with the Raipur cyber cell. With regard to the cartoon, Mr. Shukla clarified that he had expressed concerns about the situation of the higher judiciary with specific reference to the case of the death of Judge Loya.
Mr. Shukla also apprehends that the Chhattisgarh police may file fabricated and false cases against him due to his independent journalism and human rights work. HRDA would like to recall that all these cases against journalists in Chhattisgarh and other human rights defenders were also petitioned before the National Human Rights Commission, leading to police officer Mr. Kalluri being summoned by the commission and transferred out from the Bastar region.