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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Mamata Banerjee's toon tyranny to cost Rs. 50,000

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, August 14, 2012
First Published: 00:31 IST(14/8/2012) | Last Updated: 01:22 IST(14/8/2012)

The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal now has to pay for the cartoon row, literally.

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On Monday, the state human rights commission ordered it to pay a compensation of Rs. 50,000 each to Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his neighbour, who were arrested for circulating a cartoon that poked fun at Banerjee over the sacking of then railway minister Dinesh Trivedi.

The arrests saw the government being dubbed "undemocratic", which was underlined over the weekend after a farmer was arrested for criticising the chief minister.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee talks to governor MK Narayanan in Kolkata. PTI

The rights body found two police officers, who booked Mahapatra, guilty of harassment and recommended departmental proceedings against them.

The government has been given six weeks to comply with the order. But there is a chance that it might be ignored, since the rights body only has advisory powers.

"I believe the officers acted under pressure. Unless the real culprits are arrested, I won't get justice," said Mahapatra.

The government should withdraw the case against him, he said.

The row:
Cartoon a conspiracy, prof an offender: Mamata
Cartoon arrests: Nation responds with outrage


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