Gauhati HC grants bail to college girl who wrote pro-ULFA post on social media

Published on Jul 21, 2022 07:59 PM IST

According to Barshashree Buragohain’s counsel Atul Dihingia, the court granted her bail against a bond of ₹25,000

The Gauhati high court. (File Photo)
The Gauhati high court. (File Photo)

The Gauhati high court on Thursday granted bail to the 19-year-old Assam student who has been in prison since May for an alleged post on Facebook supporting the banned United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I).

Barshashree Buragohain, an undergraduate student in a Jorhat college, was arrested on May 18 and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for the Facebook post where she wrote – ‘Akou korim rashtradroh’ (will rebel against the nation again).

According to Buragohain’s counsel Atul Dihingia, the court of justice Ajit Borthakur granted her bail against a bond of 25,000. The student, who is at present lodged in the Golaghat district jail, is expected to be released on Friday.

“The other details and conditions of the bail will be known only after the order is issued. But we expect the student to get released from prison by tomorrow,” said Dihingia.

Earlier, both the director general of police and chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that if Buragohain’s parents can assure that their daughter won’t join ULFA-I or write anti-national things, she will be released. The student’s family told journalists that Buragohain would never indulge in any such activities.

On June 14, based on an application by the student, the district and sessions court in Golaghat issued directions to jail authorities to make provisions so that she can appear for her exams, which started on July 16.

While the case had not got much attention earlier, it came to focus after the student’s parents appealed to the chief minister and the police to release her so that she could appear for her semester exams.

Also Read:Court allows Assam student arrested for pro-ULFA-I post to take exams

There was a surge of posts on social media platforms blaming the state government and police for arresting the student ‘for writing a poem’. The police, however, maintain that the arrest had nothing to do with her poems posted on social media.

“There’s a specific call to indulge in waging war against the state in her Facebook post. When someone publicly professes support for a banned organisation and declares intent of waging war against the Indian state, we are legally bound to prosecute that person,” special DGP GP Singh said last week.

The student, who also writes poems, mentioned in her Facebook profile that she would rebel against the nation a thousand times ‘for the sake of freedom’. The banned ULFA-I, which wants autonomy for Assam, has been waging a war against India for 43 years.

“If she had not been arrested, she would have joined ULFA-I. If the girl’s parents and she herself declare that she won’t join the outfit, she can be released. But if she says she will wage war against the country, law will take its course,” CM Sarma said last week.

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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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