New Delhi: Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, who is facing the charge of sedition among others, on Wednesday said he had not done anything wrong and vowed to intensify his campaign for scrapping of the sedition law.
"I want to awaken people. Government is not listening to us. There was a countrywide protest for a strong Lokpal bill. We had to make such cartoons to awaken the government," he said.
While speaking to CNN-IBN Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, he said he did not try to disrespect the National Emblem or BR Ambedkar through his cartoons.
"Those who are involved in corruption are not respecting National Emblem. I respect Ambedkar. He fought for the rights of backward people. I did not disrespect him in any way,” he said.
On the limitations of the freedom of expression in the country, he said, “Let people decide what should be the Laxman Rekha. Our system is not weak that it could be shaken by a cartoon. I have not done anything wrong. The state has done wrong by imposing sedition charge on me.”
Trivedi on Wednesday walked out of Arthur Road Jail, a day after being granted bail by the Bombay High Court.
Trivedi also wants the sedition law to be scrapped. "I will cooperate in court cases. Section 124 (A) should be removed from the Indian Constitution," said the Kanpur-based Trivedi.
Trivedi thanked India Against Corruption member Arvind Kejrwial for his support and promised to carry on the fight as long as the government curbed freedom of expression.
The 24-year-old cartoonist remained adamant that he had not committed a crime, and he could not be charged for sedition.
Trivedi had refused to apply for bail until sedition charges were dropped against him.
Hundreds of IAC activists and scores others were present outside the jail to receive Trivedi when he came out of the jail on Wednesday afternoon.
Speaking briefly to the media, the cartoonist said the fight for scrapping the "draconian" sedition law would continue despite his release.
The Bombay High Court had on Tuesday granted bail to Trivedi, saying if drawing cartoons was the only allegation against him, then his custody was not required.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar had directed Trivedi to be released on execution of a personal bail bond of Rs 5,000.
The bail order was passed by the bench on a public interest litigation by city-based lawyer Sanskar Marathe, who sought Trivedi's release contending his arrest was "illegal, bad in law, and unjustified".
The court will hear the PIL on September 17 to decide whether it was right to apply sedition charge against him for his cartoons.
Trivedi was arrested on Saturday for allegedly depicting the national emblem and Parliament in bad light in his cartoons, triggering a public outcry.