Monday, 30th October 2017

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Kin seek CM apology for Facebook abuse - BJP contrasts guard's plight with Tapas Paul case

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  • Published 17.10.14

Malda, Oct. 16: The family of a civic police guard, who is behind bars for posting allegedly abusive comments on Facebook against Mamata Banerjee, today said they wanted to apologise to the chief minister for the youth’s action.

They urged, through the media, that Mamata should forgive him.

The youth was sent to 14 days’ judicial remand yesterday.

After arresting Bapi Pal on the basis of a complaint filed by a local Trinamul leader, he was charged under Sections 66A (punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service) and 67 (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

“Whatever my son has done is wrong. He has already faced the consequences and is behind bars now. We want to apologise to the chief minister through the media on my son’s behalf and would urge her to forgive him,” said Maklu Pal, Bapi’s father.

Trinamul rival BJP today compared Bapi’s confinement with Tapas Paul’s rape-and-shoot speech and criticised the state’s ruling party.

“We denounce the language used by the man in his Facebook post…. But we also condemn the way the ruling establishment arrested the man and then created an environment of fear so that he doesn't get any lawyer,” said Rahul Sinha, the BJP state president.

“It is sad that the government which spends public money to protect someone like Tapas Paul, who had threatened to shoot Opposition leaders and rape women, is arresting a man for writing something on Facebook,” he said.

Asked about the family’s inability to hire a lawyer, Maklu said that it was because of some police officers of Harishchandrapur and the government lawyer of Chanchal court that the family could not arrange for a lawyer for his son to apply for bail.

“My son was arrested on Tuesday night. Yesterday morning, I went to the police station and sat there for hours. Around 11.30am, the police told us that Bapi would be taken to court. We took a car, followed the police vehicle and reached the court in Chanchal,” the father said.

“On reaching the court, we were told by a government lawyer that my son would not get bail and that the court is closed because of holidays. He also said that hardly a few lawyers are there in the court,” he said. “We later got to know that the case was heard at the court and Bapi was sent to jail custody for 14 days.”

Today, three lawyers of Chanchal court appealed for submission of Bapi’s bail plea. “As the holidays are on, the appeal was not taken. We might file another petition tomorrow,” said Khairul Anam, one of the lawyers.

Maklu said they would wait till October 21. “It seems we will have to wait till October 21 to appeal for bail as the courts will re-open that day,” he said.