The Congress on Wednesday said the arrest of Guwahati-based writer Sikha Sarma is a “legal matter” but asked the BJP-led government why no action has been taken against those posting hate messages against her on social media following her Facebook post on April 5 for which she was accused in an FIR of “causing disrespect to martyrs”.
Sarma was sent to judicial custody after Dispur police produced her in the chief judicial magistrate’s court here on Wednesday afternoon.
The Congress through its demand has tried to project the state administration of acting in an alleged partisan manner.
This became clear when PCC president Ripun Bora broached issues involving two ruling BJP legislators.
Bora said at a news meet here: “The arrest of Smt. Sarma is a legal matter and law will take its own course. But we strongly condemned the hate messages against her on social media and demand that the government take stringent action against those who have posted such messages.”
He then sought action against state minister Pijush Hazarika for “threatening” two journalists during the second phase of polling on April 1, urging police authorities to ensure “proper action is taken against him”. He also demanded his disqualification as a candidate in the polls.
Bora also pointed out that Patherkandi BJP legislator’s car had been used to carry an EVM machine on April 1 and questioned why he has not yet been arrested.
“The Election Commission must provide clarification on incidents related to EVM malfunction and recovery in unexpected places,” Bora added.
Sarma was arrested following an FIR lodged by advocates — Umi Deka Baruah and Kangkana Goswami — against the “distasteful” Facebook post, which seemed to allude to Saturday’s Maoist massacre of 22 security personnel in Chhattisgarh.
Sarma’s post in Assamese had said: “A salaried person dying in harness is not a martyr. If that is the case then an electrician dying of electrocution is also a martyr. Don’t make the people emotional, media.”
According to the FIR, the post “maligned and disregarded the sacrifice of our martyrs”.