Facebook group moderators questioned in anti-Modi comment case

Panaji : Goa Police, investigating anti-Narendra Modi comments uploaded by a Goan Facebook user, have already questioned moderators of a popular Facebook group where the controversial comments were first posted.

According to a senior police official, the depositions yet to be recorded are those of Facebook legal team and accused 31-year-old Devu Chodankar, who is being suspected of a conspiracy to trigger communal hatred in the state.

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“Statements of the complainant Atul (Pai) Kane and several Goa-based moderators from the Goa+ group have been recorded. What is left is the communication from Facebook’s end and Devu’s statement. We expect to get both these recorded in the first week of June,” the official said.

The official said the accused, a shipbuilding professional, had established contact with the police and expressed his availability in the first week of June.

Rohan Govenkar, one of the admins of Goa+, a Facebook forum with over 40,000 members where Chodankar uploaded his allegedly hateful comments first, told a meet Wednesday that he has been called for questioning by police.

“Post the complaint, the admins of Goa Plus was called in for questioning by Goa Police and as law-abiding citizens we gave our statements to the authorities. This, however, was not done by the FB poster,” Govenkar said.

He said over the last couple of months, Goan Facebook forums had been peppered with “misinformation and politically driven agenda”.

Police in Goa have been accused of a carrying out a witch-hunt against Chodankar by the Opposition as well as civil society.