Trinamool’s Saket Gokhale Faked Papers To Allege PM’s Morbi Trip Cost 30 Crores: Cops

Saket Gokhale was detained by the Gujarat police yesterday night. (File)

New Delhi:

Trinamool Congress leader Saket Gokhale faked documents to post false allegations linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Gujarat’s Morbi after the bridge tragedy, police sources alleged today, a day after his dramatic arrest in Rajasthan.

Saket Gokhale, the Trinamool’s national spokesperson, was detained late last night in Jaipur for a tweet allegedly spreading “fake news” on PM Modi. The arrest followed BJP leader Amit Kothari’s police complaint in Ahmedabad.

He will face charges like forgery, which could lead to five years in jail.

The December 1 tweet cited a Right to Information (RTI) reply that “revealed the PM’s visit to Morbi cost the Gujarat government Rs 30 crore”, far more than the compensation given to victims (a total of Rs 5 crore). This was flagged as “fake” by the government’s fact-check unit the same day.

Sources in the Gujarat police cyber cell told NDTV that Saket Gokhale is believed to have used the newspaper Gujarat Samachar’s font in the media clipping in his tweet “claiming” it’s an RTI reply.

Gujarat Samachar denied filing any RTI.

“The entire RTI was manufactured by Saket Gokhale,” said sources, also pointing out that it usually takes about two months for an RTI reply.

Mr Gokhale told reporters that it was “an irony” he had been arrested for the tweet when those guilty of causing the bridge tragedy – the owner of the Oreva company hired for bridge repair and maintenance – were “free”.

The Gujarat police confirmed having detained Mr Gokhale only after Derek O’Brien, Rajya Sabha leader of Trinamool, tweeted and called it “political vendetta” by the BJP. He said Mr Gokhale had taken a Monday night flight from Delhi to Jaipur, from where he was “picked up” by Gujarat police. He had a heart surgery recently and was on a private visit to Jaipur.

The Gujarat police drove him all the way to Ahmedabad. Sources say he was given a 1.5 to 2 minute phone call before his mobile was seized. He called his mother and told her to not worry, sources said.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool chief, said Saket Gokhale had only tweeted what he thought were news reports. “This is a vindictive attitude. I condemn it,” she said, speaking to reporters during a visit to Ajmer.

Over 130 people were killed at Gujarat’s Morbi town when a renovated colonial-era bridge collapsed in October.

PM Modi visited the town in his home state on November 1, and met the injured, besides going to the tragedy site.

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