Assam Writer Pens Facebook Post About ‘Martyrs’, Held for Sedition

The Quint
·2-min read

Sikha Sarma, a 48-year-old Assamese writer was arrested in Guwahati on Tuesday, 6 April on charges of sedition among other offences for a Facebook post allegedly pertaining to the martyrs killed in a Naxal attack in Chattisgarh.

Sarma had in a purported Facebook post, on Monday, written:

"“Salaried professionals who die in the line of duty cannot be termed martyrs. Going by that logic, electricity department workers who die of electrocution should also be labelled martyrs. Do not make people sentimental, media.” "

Also Read: Drop Sedition Cases Against Journos: Global Press Bodies to Modi

THE FIR

Sarma was thereby subjected to a lot of flak on social media, and two advocates of the Gauhati High Court, Umi Deka Baruah and Kangkana Goswami, also filed an FIR against her, alleging that Sikha’s purported post is in “utter disrepute to the honour of our soldiers”.

Further, the complainants alleged that “such distasteful remarks not only reduce the unparalleled sacrifice of our jawans to a mere ‘money making discourse’, but is also verbal assault on the spirit and sanctity of service of the nation.” They demanded the authorities for “strict action” against Sarma.

Dispur police station OC Prafulla Kumar Das informed The Indian Express that the case was registered on the basis of the FIR.

Sarma was reportedly slated to be produced before a court on Wednesday.

REACTION

Reacting to immediate avalanche of flak, Sarma posted on Monday night:

"“Isn’t misrepresenting my post mental harassment? Will the false propaganda against me come under rule of law? Why has (there) been no investigation regrind the FIR I filed about the murder and intimidation threats I received earlier?” "

Sarma had, as per The Indian Express, allegedly faced rape threats in October 2020 for a post criticising the government.

THE CHHATTISGARH NAXAL ATTACK

At least 22 security personnel were killed and around 31 injured in a shoot-out with Naxals along the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts in Chhattisgarh on Saturday, 3 April – the worst such Naxal attack in four years.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

Also Read: What Is the Sedition Law? And Is It Good or Bad?

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