Bengal man held after Facebook rant against politician

Kolkata, Feb 6 (IANS) A man in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri has landed up behind bars after his rant against a local political leader on Facebook went viral.

Without taking any names, Rohit Pashi, a resident of Mal in the district, in his Facebook page accused a local leader of “sweating in the court to get out on bail a murder accused”.

Taking strong offence to the post, Mal municipal councillor Pulin Goldar filed a police complaint against Pashi alleging that his post was defamatory and aimed at inciting violence.

“Pashi has not taken my name but he has mentioned about a leader who sings well, who can play the flute and who was in a court on Friday. I am the only political leader in Mal who sings, plays flute and was in the court yesterday (Friday),” said Goldar.

“I went to the court to take bail for myself in an old case of road blockade, but his post projects me as if I have been running from pillar to post to get bail for the murder accused. His comments are defamatory, so I have asked police to take action,” he said.

While Pashi was Friday taken into custody and had to execute a personal bond during the day, police claimed he was not arrested.

“He was not arrested. We had information that Rohit and some of his friends might create trouble so we ordered him to execute a bond under section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which deals with security for breach of peace or public tranquillity,” Jalpaiguri Superintendent of Police Akash Magharia said.

Pashi, however, said he was dragged out from his home by police like a dreaded criminal and had to spend over an hour inside the police lock-up.

“I am being targeted only because I tried to unmask the politician. Allegations of inciting violence are baseless, I am being framed.

“This is not the first time he (Goldar) accompanied the murder accused. He has done it several times,” said Pashi, whose neighbour Gurdeep Singh was murdered last year.

“When we are fighting for justice for Gurdeep, this man is trying to shield and save those who killed him,” alleged Pashi.

The incident attracted widespread criticism including from Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, who was arrested in 2012 for circulating a photo spoof on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“This incident is yet another example of the dictatorial attitude of the state government,” said Mahapatra.

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