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Friday, February 3, 2023

Professor who shared Mamta’s cartoon dismissed after 11 years

World NewsIndia NewsProfessor who shared Mamta's cartoon dismissed after 11 years

A local court in West Bengal has acquitted Ambikesh Mahapatra, a chemistry professor at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, nearly 11 years after he was arrested for allegedly sending derogatory cartoons about Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“The plea of ​​acquittal of the accused petitioner Ambikesh Mahapatra is allowed,” the Additional Sessions Judge’s court order on Thursday said.

On 12 April 2012, a case was registered against Mahapatra at the East Jadavpur police station for allegedly derogatory cartoons of Trinamool Congress chief Banerjee and party leader Mukul Roy, days after Roy was made railway minister. Forwarded an email containing

“He is acquitted in Case No. C1810 of 2016 Purba Jadavpur Police Station Case No. 50 dated 12.04.2012. The bail bonds are accordingly discharged,” the court order said.

Mohapatra was charged by the state government under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act and provisions of the Indian Penal Code. In 2015, the Supreme Court struck down Section 66A as unconstitutional.

“This is a great relief and a moral victory after a long battle. But what about those who attacked me? Will they not be arrested? Mahapatra told reporters after the court order.

He had earlier alleged that “thugs backed by the ruling TMC” beat him up. Although Mahapatra was released on bail hours after his arrest, the police action created a political uproar in the eastern state.

Calling the court order a “victory for democracy”, Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rahul Sinha said: “Mamata Banerjee should publicly apologise.” This is a slap on the face of the government and it should learn a lesson.”

TMC Rajya Sabha member Santanu Sen hit back, saying: “We have nothing to say against the order or the court because we respect the judiciary. But those who are saying that democracy should be strangled. Let them first check what is happening in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh where a TMC spokesperson was arrested thrice in a month and a journalist was taken to the police station.

In 2016, Mahapatra unsuccessfully contested the state assembly elections as an independent candidate from Bahala Purbu constituency.

(tags to translate) Ambikesh Mahapatra

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