A member of the ruling BJP’s social media cell in Assam has been arrested for allegedly making communal remarks and insulting Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in posts on Facebook. Another person, a BJP supporter, has been arrested for defamatory posts against Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb on the same social media platform.
The arrests come amid national outrage over recent arrests of five people – including of journalists – on charges of defaming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
In Assam, police yesterday arrested Nitu Bora, a BJP IT cell member from Morigaon district, for communal and derogatory social media posts. At least three others were picked up for questioning from across the state on similar allegations.
In recent social media posts Nitu Bora had claimed the BJP government in the state was unable to protect indigenous Assamese from migrant Muslim settlers. He also indicated that he held the Chief Minister responsible for the state of affairs.
“There was an FIR lodged against Nitumoni Bora by Raju Mahanta last night based on which we have arrested him. It was stated in the FIR that he had posted a derogatory comment against the Chief Minister,” Morigaon Superintendent of Police Swapnanil Deka said.
According to news agency IANS, the house of another BJP IT cell member, Hemanta Baruah, was raided by police on Wednesday night; Baruah hails from Majuli, the district and constituency represented by the Chief Minister.
The wave of arrests continued with that of Anupam Paul, a BJP supporter from Tripura, on charges of spreading fake news about the family life of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
Anupam Paul, who was arrested yesterday from Delhi, had been listed as the prime accused in a suo moto case registered at the West Agartala Police Station in late April, and charged with forgery, defamation and criminal conspiracy.
At the time, Chief Minister Biplap Kumar Deb and his wife had claimed the entire episode was part of a “deep-rooted conspiracy” to destabilise BJP-led coalition government in the state.
“This is a deep rooted conspiracy to tarnish my image. It is a baseless and motivated post which is in bad taste,” a press statement quoted the Chief Minister as saying.
Tripura police earlier had also arrested freelance television journalist Saikat Talapatra and a police constable for sharing one of Anupam Paul’s posts. The post was about alleged marital discord between the Chief Minister and his wife, Niti Deb.
They were later freed on bail.
With inputs from IANS