Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy sparks off row with ‘insensitive’ tweets on 26/11 victims, presses delete

Tathagata Roy, who was posted as Meghalaya Governor in August isn’t new to controversies. He has hit the headlines several times in the past over his tweets when he was in charge of Tripura.

india Updated: Nov 26, 2018 17:41 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Meghalaya govenor,Tathagata Roy,Meghalaya
Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy in New Delhi.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT File Photo)

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy landed himself in a fresh controversy on Monday with an insensitive comment about the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, which took place ten years ago.

“10th anniversary today of Paki-sponsored slaughter of innocents (except Muslims) at Mumbai, popularly called 26/11. Does anyone remember why we didn’t even downgrade our diplomatic relations with the Pakis (let alone break off such relations or go to war)?” Roy wrote in a tweet on the incident from his official Twitter handle.

The tweet, which appeared to give a communal tinge to the 26/11 attacks, quickly led to a backlash on social media platforms against Roy with some users calling him “irresponsible” and “hatemonger”.

The controversial tweet was quickly deleted.

“I was misinformed of the Paki-sponsored killers of 26/11having spared Muslims. In fact several Muslims were killed. It was a mistake of facts and I am sorry for the same. The relevant tweet has been deleted,” Roy tweeted again.

This tweet was also deleted and another one posted soon after. “The tweet relating to 26/11 contained a factual mistake. It has been deleted with apologies. No further inquiries please,” it read this time.

Officials at Meghalaya Raj Bhawan said Roy is likely to reach Shillong on Monday evening and a statement, if any, would be issued only after that.

The Governor’s tweet has evoked sharp reactions in Shillong.

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“Being a governor he should be aware of facts before tweeting. He should apologise to the Mumbai attack victims. Roy has a record of making insensitive comments on Twitter and the latest tweet shows old habits die hard,” said Celestine Lyngdoh, president of Meghalaya Congress unit.

Editor of The Shillong Times Patricia Mukhim said if Roy has apologised for the mistake one shouldn’t make a big issue over it. “There are other important issues at hand than a tweet for which the Governor has apologised and deleted,” she said.

Roy, who was posted as Meghalaya Governor in August isn’t new to controversies. He has hit the headlines several times in the past over his tweets when he was in charge of Tripura.

In his Twitter handle, which has nearly 1 lakh followers, Roy describes himself as Right-wing Hindu socio-political thinker, writer and ideologue.

“Whatever gave you the notion I am secular? I am a Hindu. My state, India, however is secular since 1976,” he had tweeted in 2016 in response to a man who identified himself as a Dubai-based Marxist.

Roy had also targeted the mourners of 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Yakub Memon, following his hanging in July 2015. “Intelligence shd keep a tab on all who assembled bfr Yakub Memom’s corpse. Many are potential terrorists,” he tweeted.

A worker of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since 1986, the 73-year-old was the president of the BJP’s West Bengal unit from 2002 to 2006. An engineer by profession, he worked in the Indian Railways till 1990 and later joined Jadavpur University’s department of construction engineering as a professor.

He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1990 and was its national executive member from 2002 till 2015 when he was appointed the Governor of Tripura.

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First Published: Nov 26, 2018 17:35 IST