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Friday 5 June 2020

Mother of BJYM activist arrested for Mamata meme speaks up

Priyanka Sharma had shared a morphed picture of Mamata Banerjee on Twitter, which was a spoof on actress Priyanka Chopra’s Met Gala look

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Kolkata: The mother of the BJYM leader Priyanka Sharma, who was arrested for sharing photographs of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee’s meme, which was a spoof on the get-up of actress Priyanka Chopra’s Met Gala appearance, has spoken in her daughter’s defence. The activist’s mother said her daughter had not done anything wrong, but she was arrested because she was an opposition party worker.

Priyanka Sharma was arrested after a police report was registered against her on Friday. Priyanka is a club cell convenor in the Howrah district of BJYM. Her mother said, “She just shared a picture, as others do, but she was arrested for being an opposition worker.”

Priyanka Sharma had shared a morphed picture of Mamata Banerjee on Twitter. This original photo was of actress Priyanka Chopra’s Met Gala look.

Mamata Banerjee ‘Hitler Didi’

Social media users, especially BJP leaders, reacted strongly to the arrest of Priyanka Sharma. Users criticised the attitude of the Mamata Banerjee administration and alleged the State government held democracy hostage and curbed the freedom of expression.

After Priyanka Sharma’s arrest, people on Twitter, led by BJP leaders, termed Mamata Banerjee as “Hitler Didi” (Hitler’s sister).

Betraying intolerance for even humour is not new for the Trinamool dispensation, though. A professor, Ambikesh Mahapatra, was jailed for sharing a series of cartoons based on Satyajit Ray’s film Sonar Kella, replacing the characters of the movie with the chief minister and Mukul Roy who was then in the ruling party.

The professor was arrested and charged under several Sections of the IPC. Worse, Trinamool’s hooligans manhandled him and got away with it.

These incidents are over and above legal actions taken as part of Mamata Banerjee’s pro-Muslim policy. That included the arrest of a teenager for sharing an offensive cartoon of Prophet Mohammed on Facebook, and the Kaliachak riot in Maldah, which was allowed to fester because of a comment by a Hindu Mahasabha activist from Uttar Pradesh.

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