Assam lecturer held for Facebook post on riots

A college teacher in southern Assam’s Cachar district was arrested late Friday night for his views against Delhi riots and the role of the Hindutva forces on his Facebook page.

His arrest was based on a complaint by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in district headquarters Silchar, although he had deleted the “derogatory” posts and had apologised for “some irresponsible comments about a communally sensitive issue”.

Cachar Superintendent of Police Manabendra Debroy said the police acted on the complaint to pick up Souradeep Sengupta, a guest lecturer at Silchar’s Gurucharan College from his residence in the Itkhola area of the town. “He was produced in the local court,” he said. The court put Mr. Sengupta’s bail application on hold and sent him to judicial custody till March 2.

Mr. Sengupta was arrested under three sections of the Indian Penal Code and 66A of the Information Technology Act that defines the punishment for sending “offensive” messages through a computer or any other communication device. The IPC sections slapped against him include 295A, dealing with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings.

One of Mr. Sengupta’s cousins, declining to be quoted, said trouble for the teacher began on Thursday night when one Kunaljit Dey used screenshots of the teacher’s posts and said he had insulted followers of Sanatan Dharma.

The teacher had in one of the posts sniffed a BJP-RSS design to “recreate Godhra in Delhi”.

“Dada (elder brother) deleted his posts and apologised for inadvertently hurting religious sentiments. The matter should have ended there but some 50 ABVP members stormed his college and staged a demonstration before filing an FIR,” the cousin said.

The college principal said he was under pressure to terminate Mr. Sengupta following a memorandum by the ABVP. Mr. Sengupta, members of his family said, offered to resign.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 10:47:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/assam-lecturer-held-for-facebook-post-on-riots/article30954090.ece

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