Kolkata: A Jadavpur University professor and his neighbour were arrested on Friday morning for allegedly spreading "anti-Mamata Banerjee" cartoons on the Internet. Ambikesh Mahapatra, a teacher with the Chemistry Department of the University, and his neighbour, Subrata Sengupta, were picked up on Thursday night by the police for allegedly forwarding cartoons of Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.
The cartoon, based on Satyajit Ray's movie Sonar Kella, allegedly shows Mamata and Railways Minister Mukul Roy discussing how to get rid of party MP Dinesh Trivedi.
Mahapatra has been booked for defaming Mamata. Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Section 500, 509 and 114 of the Indian Penal Code (punishment for defamation) have been slapped on the professor, who was arrested on charges of forwarding "derogatory images" of the West Bengal Chief Minister to nearly 65 recipients and mocking her government policies.
Trinamool workers allegedly raided Mahapatra's residence at New Garia in the southern fringes of Kolkata before the police picked him up. They also allegedly manhandled the professor.
Even though Mahapatra was picked up on Thursday night the police showed his arrest only on Friday morning after he had been forced to spend the night at East Jadavpur Police Station. The professor will now be produced in the Alipore court.
Sources say it is quite an unprecedented incident and point out that Mamata is becoming increasingly intolerant to any incident that shows her in bad light, even if it is innocuous.