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Sedition charges over Facebook post dropped after CM's intervention in Chhattisgarh

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RAIPUR: The sedition charges against two persons have been dropped after criticism that led to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel's intervention. 

Mangelal Agarwal, 53, a resident of Rajnandgaon, was booked for alleged propaganda over the issue of power in the state. He had alleged that the power company was in cahoots with the firm that was manufacturing inverters. 

In the post, he had shared (his own comments in video form) that more power cuts would result in people buying inverters and he alleged that money was paid for causing these blackouts. After the case was registered, he was arrested.

The local police had used Section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, apart from other sections. However, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed displeasure to the state police chief over the use of sedition charges. Baghel said that he and his party were in favour of people's freedom of expression. 

Subsequently, the charges were withdrawn. Agarwal has been released on bail. After he was released, Agarwal thanked the chief minister. Apart from Agarwal, Dilip Sharma, who owns a web portal was also booked for allegedly spreading misinformation regarding power situation in the state.

Sharma's portal carried the story about power breakdown in 50 villages for 48 hrs. In this case too, the sedition charges were dropped. He has also got released on bail. BJP has condemned the police action and said that the Congress government was trying to kill freedom of expression the state.