A professor of chemistry at the Jadhavpur University was today arrested for allegedly spreading derogatory messages against "respectable people"
through the internet.
"Professor Ambikesh Mohapatra has been arrested for spreading derogatory messages against respectable persons," Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police (south suburban division) Sujoy Chanda said.
He, however, refused to divulge the names of the 'respectable persons' who have been defamed in the e-mail. He was arrested and taken to the East Jadavpur Police station early today.
Police sources say Subrata Sengupta, a neighbour of Mahapatra, has also been arrested. Among the charges slapped against the two are some sections of the IT Act.
The cartoon in question has been doing the rounds in West Bengal after Mamata forced Trivedi out of the rail ministry and put Roy in his place. Apparently, the cartoon is a caricature of Satyajit Ray's detective masterpiece on celluloid Sonar Kella.
The 'cartoon' that led to JU professor's arrest. From top to bottom: 1. Mamata Banerjee points to Indian Railways' logo and tells Mukul Roy: See Mukul, the Golden Fortress; 2. Mukul Roy points to former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi and exclaims: That's an evil man!!!; 3. Mamata says: Evil man, vanish!
The police have come to know Mahapatra has sent the mail to about 65 people.
Trinamool Congress supporters attacked him at his residence at New Garia on Thursday night. They accused him to sending disparaging e-mails that showed chief minister, railway minister and the former railway minister in a poor light, and uploading the cartoon on his Facebook account.
According to Jadavpur University sources, police arrived at the scene when the Trinamool supporters were heckling the professor.
Police picked him up and took him to the East Jadavpur police station. He was shown arrested on Friday morning.
The arrest has already triggered a rising tide of protest in the university campus, with a section of his colleagues and students defending his action as a part of his right to express his views.
Over the past few weeks a section of Kolkata's intellectuals who campaigned for Mamata before the 2011 assembly polls, have started protesting against what they call dictatorial tendencies of her government.