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Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 17, 2012
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee chose the chief ministers’ conference on Monday to defend — albeit, in a roundabout way — her decision to arrest a university professor for circulating a spoof on her on the net.

Her finance minister, Amit Mitra, read out Banerjee’s speech, flagging cybercrime as a serious threat that “may greatly disturb the internal security of the country… It is increasing all over the country.”

Banerjee’s speech also gave details on how the state was tackling cybercrime. “A cyber-police station has been created in Kolkata and a cyber-laboratory has also been set up.”

On April 12, Kolkata police arrested Ambikesh Mohapatra, a senior professor of Jadavpur University, for circulating the picture spoof — inspired by a famous Satyajit Ray flick — on the latest reshuffle in the railway ministry.

Besides charges such as outraging the modesty of a woman and defamation, the professor is also facing “causing offence, using a computer” under the IT Act.

Although the charges were bailable, Mahapatra, who had been heckled by Trinamool Congress supporters at his home before his arrest, had to spend the night in a police lock-up.

Banerjee’s party, meanwhile, set up a special team, comprising more than 400 workers of the Trinamool student wing to track “offensive items” on against the leader and the party on the Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.