YouTuber 'Hindustani Bhau' arrested for 'instigating' student protest in Mumbai
Social media influencer 'Hindustani Bhau' has landed in trouble with the law. The YouTuber, whose real name is Vikas Fhatak, was arrested along with one other person for allegedly instigating a protest by students in Mumbai, reports said. The students were reportedly demanding the cancellation of offline exams for Classes X and XII in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hundreds of students assembled near education minister's home
On Monday, several hundred students congregated in Dharavi, Mumbai, which is near the residence of Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad to protest offline exams. Thereafter, the police found out Fhatak had asked the students to assemble in one of his videos. He was also reportedly present at the scene. Alongside Fhatak, one Ikrar Khan Wakhar Khan was nabbed for his role in the protest.
What had 'Hindustani Bhau' said?
Hindustani Bhau had questioned the government's move to conducted offline exams. In a video titled "Exams Cancel Karo. Bacho Ke Jaan Ke Sath Mat Khelo. Warna Hoga Fir Se Andolan," the 41-year-old said many people have died of COVID-19. "And now the new drama of Omicron has started. What's this? The government is urging people to remain indoors. Then why take offline exams?"
Case registered against Fhatak, Khan
The video—uploaded on January 24—has over 280K views currently. In the video, Fhatak had said he would lead lakhs of students in a revolution if his "request" regarding the cancellation of online exams goes unheard. Fhatak and Khan have been booked under various sections of the IPC, Maharashtra Police Act, the Disaster Management Act, and the Maharashtra Prevention of Defacement of Public Property Act.
Police reportedly baton-charged protesting students
Incidentally, the Dharavi Police had reportedly resorted to a mild baton charge to stop the students—holding placards and raising slogans—from advancing toward Gaikwad's home. Apart from the Dharavi assembly, students had come together in huge numbers in various parts of the state as protests erupted in Thane, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Osmanabad on Monday. Such widespread protest has taken Maharashtra's Ministry of Education by surprise.
Opposition criticized use of baton charge on students
Reportedly, both Gaikwad and her deputy Bacchu Kadu learned about the protest through news channels. Separately, the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Pravin Darekar, criticized the police for baton-charging the students. Darekar opined that the state government should actually listen to the cause raised by the students and take proper steps accordingly.Share this timeline