A day after Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal directed the police to arrest Kolkata-based political commentator Garga Chatterjee for allegedly insulting the first Ahom king, Bangla Pokkho, Chatterjee’s organisation, claimed he was being targeted for standing up for Bengalis in Assam.
Chatterjee’s lawyer said he would move court for anticipatory bail.
“He has said nothing wrong, but stated the true history. It is because we fight for the Bengalis in Assam that he is being targeted. We are holding talks with our lawyer, and soon we will approach the High Court in Assam for anticipatory bail. If Assam Police think they can come to Bengal and arrest him, they are wrong,” Kaushik Maiti, a member of Bangla Pokkho, told The Sunday Express.
Bangla Pokkho said it was also planning to hold demonstrations in the city. “We fear this is a plot to physically harm or even kill Garga Chaterjee for speaking on rights of Bengalis in Assam,” said Maiti.
“The police will first have to serve a notice and call my client for interrogation. My client says it is his freedom of speech which was reflected in social media. We will also seek anticipatory bail,” said advocate Biplab Goswami, Chatterjee’s lawyer.
A police complaint has been lodged against Chatterjee in Assam for the alleged objectionable comments about first Ahom king Chaolung Sukapha, and the Ahom community.
On Friday, Sonowal said Sukapha was the architect of greater Assamese identity, and derogatory comments about him would not be tolerated. Assam celebrates ‘Asom Divas’ on December 2 every year to commemorate Sukapha.
Chatterjee, who describes himself as a “Bengali nationalist” on Twitter, tweeted on June 17, “Why does @sarbanandsonwal [Assam CM’s handle] regularly celebrate a Chinese invader and his invading army? Why does banned separatist group ULFA also celebrate the Chinese invader? Do real Indians know that Indian tax money is being used by BJP in Assam to put up statues of a Chinese invader?”
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