Assam Writer Sikha Sarma Arrested Charged With Sedition Over Facebook Post On Jawans Killed In Chhattisgarh Maoist Attack

Assam Writer Charged With Sedition Over Facebook Post On Maoist Attack

Sikha Sarma’s Facebook post had stirred controversy with over 11,000 comments


Assam writer Sikha Sarma was arrested on the charge of sedition and sent to judicial custody on Wednesday for her alleged comment in the social media on security personnel massacred by Maoists in Chhatisgarh, police said.

Sikha Sarma had on April 5, two days after the brutal killing of the security personnel, allegedly posted on Facebook: “Salaried people cannot be termed martyrs if they die during duty. In that case, an electricity department employee will also be a martyr if he dies due to electrocution. Media do not make the people emotional.”

The post had stirred controversy with over 11,000 comments and at least 1,600 shares in Facebook.

The police registered a case against her under Sections 124A (sedition), 294A (keeping lottery office), 500 (defamation) and 506 (criminal intimidation) along with Section 45 (residuary penalty) of IT Act after receiving complaints from two BJP workers on Monday.

“She was arrested last night and today we produced her before the Kamrup (Metro) district court. We did not seek police custody. She has been sent to 14 days of judicial custody,” Guwahati Police Commissioner Munna Prasad Gupta told PTI.

On April 3, suspected Maoists killed 22 security personnel from different forces and wounded 31 others in an ambush in Chhattisgarh.

Out of them, two CRPF personnel – Inspector Dilip Kumar Das and Constable Babul Rabha who were killed hailed from Assam which had led to public outpouring of grief in the state.

Earlier, Sikha Sarma had faced rape threats on social media over her regular posts against the ruling BJP in the state.

She had filed a complaint to the police on it and no action has been taken against anyone.

In 2017, the defence and home ministries had told the Central Information Commission in response to an RTI query that there was no term as “martyr” or “shaheed” in the Army or police and instead a soldier or a policeman killed in action was called a “battle casualty” or “operations casualty” respectively.

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