Mamata meme case: BJP activist released, claims torture

Team Udayavani, May 15, 2019, 6:36 PM IST

New Delhi/ Kolkata: BJP youth wing activist Priyanka Sharma, who walked out of jail on Wednesday after being arrested for posting a morphed picture of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Facebook, said jail authorities pressured her and extracted an apology for the post.

Sharma, however, asserted she had no regrets for sharing the post for which she had to spend five days behind bars.

She claimed she was “mentally tortured” in jail and was not even given enough water to drink.

Sharma was released from jail at 9:40 a.m. after theSupreme Court on Wednesday called her arrest “prima facie arbitrary” and pulled up the West Bengal government for the delay in releasing her.

The apex court had Tuesday ordered Sharma’s release on bail but directed her to tender a “written apology” for sharing the meme on Banerjee saying that freedom of speech of an individual ends when it infringes upon others’ rights.

“The detenue, Priyanka Sharma, is directed to be immediately released on bail. The detenue shall, however, at the time of release, tender an apology in writing for putting up/sharing the pictures complained of on her Facebook account. It is made clear that this order is being made in the special facts and circumstances of this case and shall not operate as a precedent,” the court had said.

The vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna, which initially said Sharma’s apology will be a condition for bail, later clarified that it will not be so but she should apologise for sharing the post at the time of her release.

Sharma was arrested on May 10 under section 500 (defamation) of the IPC and under other provisions of the Information Technology Act on a complaint by a local Trinamool Congress leader Vibhas Hazra.

Later, talking to PTI Sharma claimed she was shifted from one cramped cell to another several times during her stay in jail. More than 40 prisoners were kept in one cell in hot and humid conditions, she alleged.


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