Parties criticise detention of youth in Facebook post case

Kolkata: Opposition parties in West Bengal today slammed the Trinamool Congress government and the police for detaining a youth in Jalpaiguri district for criticising a local TMC councillor in a Facebook post.

Parties like BJP and CPI(M) branded the TMC as ‘intolerant’ while the TMC said none was arrested in Malbazar for a Facebook post.

Rohit Pashi of Malbazar was detained yesterday after councillor Pulin Goldar complained to the police that he wrote in a Facebook post that “Goldar had links with criminals.” The youth, however, was released after executing a bond under Section 107 of the CrPC that he will not create trouble.

“TMC is tolerant towards criminals. Its MLAs, MPs and leaders are used to break laws. But the TMC government is intolerant towards any individual who tries to highlight the gory picture of the state of affairs in West Bengal,” BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh told PTI.

Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty too criticised the state government by stating that TMC is trying to “subvert democratic rights.”

“From Ambikesh Mahapatra to Rohit Pashi, Mamata Banerjee’s intolerance towards criticism is a sign of fascism. Perhaps Mamata Banerjee and her police don’t know, India is a democracy. Freedom of expression is our constitutional right,” Chakraborty said.

The TMC national spokesperson Derek O’ Brien yesterday said no one was arrested for a Facebook post.

“Some local channels distorting news without checking facts. Deliberate distortion? No one in Malbazar has been arrested for a Facebook post,” Derek O’Brien had said in a statement.

The incident brought back memories of the arrest of Jadavpur university professor Ambikesh Mahapatra who was arrested in 2012 for circulating a cartoon of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Internet.