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Assam court allows jailed poet Barshashree Buragohain to sit for exam

Barshashree Buragohain has been jailed for reportedly writing a pro-ULFA(I) poem.

Barshashree Buragohain has been jailed for reportedly writing a pro-ULFA(I) poem. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A local court in eastern Assam’s Golaghat district has allowed Barshashree Buragohain, jailed since May 18 for reportedly writing a poem calling for rebellion against the nation, to appear for her degree second-semester exams.

She is a student of mathematics at DCB College in the adjoining Jorhat district. The college is affiliated to Dibrugarh University.

Barshashree, 19, had filed a petition before the Golaghat district and sessions court through the jail authorities seeking permission to appear for the exam commencing from July 16.

The court on Thursday directed the jail authorities to make necessary arrangements and provide sufficient police escort from the jail to her examination centre.

A resident of Jorhat, Barshashree was picked up from a friend’s house in Golaghat district’s Uriamghat on May 17 for posting an “objectionable poem” on a social media platform. The poem titled ‘ Akou Korim Rashtradroh’ (I will rebel against the nation again) allegedly supported the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) or ULFA (I), a banned extremist outfit.

According to her relatives, Barshashree was to have been let off on May 18 after counseling during which the police made her delete all “protest poems” from her social media accounts. But she was arrested that day and put behind bars.

The Assam police issued conflicting statements to justify her arrest. While Special Director-General of Police (Law and Order), G.P. Singh said her Facebook post was a “specific call to indulge in waging war against the State”, DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said she was “not arrested for writing a poem but for encouraging others to join the ULFA (I)”.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said she was arrested for attempting to join the ULFA (I). “What if she joins the outfit, comes back as a human bomb and triggers a blast, or returns with an AK-47? One must remember 42 people have been killed in the ULFA’s camp (in Myanmar),” he had said.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2022 11:13:24 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-court-allows-jailed-poet-to-sit-for-exam/article65642697.ece