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Gujarat Police detains filmmaker Avinash Das for tweeting Amit Shah’s photo with arrested IAS officer

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The Gujarat Police has detained filmmaker Avinash Das from Mumbai in a case related to sharing a photo of Union Home Minister Amit Shah with arrested IAS officer Pooja Singhal on Twitter, an official said.

He was being brought to Ahmedabad for further action, the official said.

“We detained Das from Mumbai on Tuesday. He is being brought to Ahmedabad by our team for further legal process,” the city crime branch’s Assistant Commissioner of Police DP Chudasama said.

The Ahmedabad crime branch had registered an FIR against the Mumbai-based filmmaker under Section 469 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code as well as provisions of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and the Information Technology Act, as he had also posted on his Instagram and Facebook accounts another photo of a woman wearing the national flag.

The FIR against 46-year-old Das was registered in June after he shared a photo showing Singhal, who had been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case, whispering something to Shah.

As per the FIR, in a caption to the photo Das had claimed the picture was taken a few days before Singhal’s arrest, while it was actually taken in 2017.

The crime branch had alleged this was done with an intention to tarnish Shah’s image.

The filmmaker was also booked for insulting national honour by sharing on his Instagram and Facebook accounts a photo of a woman wearing the national flag.

A sessions court here in June rejected Das’ plea for anticipatory bail, observing that he had deliberately claimed the photo of Shah with Singhal was taken a few days before the latter’s arrest, with the intention to “tarnish the image of the Home Minister”.

The photo of a woman wrapped in the national flag showed Das’ “mental perverseness”, the court had said in its order.

Later, the Gujarat High Court had also rejected his anticipatory bail application while observing that Das had violated provisions of the Prevention of Insults to the National Honour Act by circulating a painting showing a person wearing a dress made of the tricolour.

The Bombay High Court had also rejected Das’ transit anticipatory bail application.

Das directed the 2017 film ‘Anaarkali of Aarah’, starring Swara Bhaskar, Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi, and ‘Raat Baaki Hai’, which was released in 2021. He had also helmed a Netflix series called ‘She’.

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