A senior Assam Police officer was arrested on Saturday for a Facebook post maligning a woman legislator of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but was released on bail later in the evening after being produced in the court of the Kamrup chief judicial magistrate in Guwahati.
The state police’s criminal investigation department (CID) arrested deputy superintendent of police Anjan Bora from his residence in Guwahati after departmental and criminal proceedings against him. He remains under suspension.
The court granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 10000. A seemingly unrepentant Bora claimed in and outside the court that what he had posted was “absolutely true.”
Bora, posted as deputy commandant of an Indian Reserve Battalion in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, had taken to Facebook on April 25 to accuse the MLA of prostitution. He said the MLA was “running the business from her office chamber at the state secretariat”.
The BJP had lodged a complaint against Bora soon after the post went viral. Director general of police Mukesh Sahay too wrote to the home department seeking disciplinary action against Bora.
A controversial officer, Bora has been a DSP since 2002 and hasn’t been promoted.
“Government officers are to be guided by service conduct rules. Any act unbecoming of a government servant amounts to violation of the conduct rules. The Facebook post is obscene but he (Bora) stands by it. Nobody, even a senior police officer, is above law,” Sahay told HT.
“We always tell our officers to use social media for bona fide public purpose and for good work. The officers know what they should do and what they should not. But sometimes some indiscretion takes place,” he added.
Assam has eight women legislators in the 126-member assembly. Two of them belong to BJP.
Bora cited the surname of one of them but said she was not the one running the “body selling” business, making it clear who he was referring to. He later defended his action, saying the Facebook post was based on what a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader had told him.
In February 2016, Bora was suspended for posting comments against Muslims on Facebook inciting hatred towards the community.
In that post, he had vowed to stop ‘azaan’ - the Muslim call to prayer - and stated that he had killed many from the minority community such as Rafikul Islam, a Congress worker in BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts) in the state.