Anonymous attacks the site to condemn the jailing of a farmer who questioned the West Bengal Chief Minister’s policies at a rally

Anonymous, a global collective of ‘hacktivists,’ defaced the Trinamool Congress website on Tuesday evening, in what it described as its protest against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s “unpredictable, dictatorial and totalitarian” ways.

Anons (individual members of the group), speaking up during an Internet relay chat, directed their ire at Ms. Banerjee for branding as Maoist a farmer who questioned her government’s policies at a rally at Belpahari last week.

The group put up a post, which was later removed, in the ‘Chairperson Speaks’ section of the website that read: I am a Maoist at heart and always have been. It always pained me to speak and act against the ideology that I loved so much. I also apologise to people whom I have hurt. The artist who tried to speak the truth, the writers who saw the right thing and every and any person who tried to tell me I was going in the wrong direction. I am at your feet asking you to forgive me for the misguided acts I have done in life. I promise to make up for all this by drawing my own cartoons and writing my own blog about what an idiot I have been ...

Asked why the website was defaced, an anon going by the name CommanderLoL said: “Celebrating Independence day while a farmer gets jailed for asking a question makes me wonder — what for? this independence [sic].”

“Paribartan of idiocy”

Reiterating that its attack had nothing to do with the Maoists, Anonymous termed the change brought about by the Trinamool government “paribartan of idiocy.” Another anon, nicknamed TheSurgeon, claimed that “by jailing cartoonists and calling people Maoists randomly, she [Ms. Banerjee] has shown her true colours” and said: “people shouldn’t wait for next election … they should stand up ... how can the people let her jail a random farmer?”

Anonymous also slammed the West Bengal Opposition, saying that it was “no better,” and left a message for Ms. Banerjee: “if she goes on like this, then themes more to come [sic].”

The group warned of more retaliation after it alleged that its Facebook page, Anonymous India, that became inaccessible a few hours after the attack, was taken down.

In recent months, Anonymous has stepped up its campaign against the Indian government, private companies and political parties. It announced ‘OpIndia’ in May after torrent and video-sharing websites such as isoHunt, piratebay and video were blocked by the Internet Service Providers.

Anonymous hit back at several government websites and knocked down those of the Supreme Court, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party among others. A week later, it allegedly hacked Reliance Communications website and posted an unverified list of websites and web-links that the company had blocked.

Following a lull after it organised street protests in various cities on June 9, Anonymous attacked the Tamil Nadu Police database last month and posted files, which included complaints made to the police, e-mails and phone numbers.

Reacting to the Tamil Nadu Police’s efforts at nabbing the attackers, anon CommanderLoL taunted: “Well they don’t seem to be doing a very good job.”

Anonymous was born in the imageboard 4chan in 2004 and has, in the past few years, led some of the most memorable acts of digital dissent.

In 2008, it targeted the Church of Scientology for what it called the Church’s attempt at Internet censoring. In 2010, it backed WikiLeaks and carried out attacks on PayPal, MasterCard and VISA, among others, under the name, Operation Avenge Assange, after they froze donations to the whistle-blower website under political pressure.

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