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Apr 13, 2012 at 11:20pm IST

Mamata Banerjee sees red over cartoon lampooning her

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday defended the arrest of a Jadavpur University professor and his neighbour for allegedly spreading "anti-Mamata Banerjee" cartoons on the Internet.

The Trinamool Congress leader has said those who committed the alleged crime have been arrested, adding that the protests against the action will have no impact on her.

Banerjee also slammed the CPM for raising trivial issues to "malign" her. She said, "They don’t do any work and think of ways to frame me."

This came hours after police action against Jadvpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra led to a strong condemnation from the academic community and the Left.

"...They commit crimes and once people are arrested they run it on their channels for the whole day," she said at a public event.

Earlier, West Bengal Sports Minister Madan Mitra had defended the action against the professor.

"Those who call themselves professors, if they do such ugly things, will never be forgiven. People of Bengal will give a fitting reply," Mitra had said.

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 West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. Both were, later on Friday, granted bail.

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 have been slapped on the professor, who was arrested on charges of forwarding "derogatory images" of the Mamata to nearly 65 recipients and mocking her government policies.

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.

(With Additional Inputs from PTI)

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