Guwahati: Two journalists of an online news portal were arrested while three others were detained on Wednesday for their reported attempt to slander Assam minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma after they shared a photo of the minister along with his daughter with a “malicious intent”, the police said.
The wife of Sarma had lodged a complaint with the Dispur police station following which the police began investigating the case.
The police said that Taufiquddin Ahmad, the Editor-in-Chief of a news-based website and its news editor Iqbal were arrested to probe into the case while three other employees were detained.
Sarma, who holds the Finance, Health and PWD portfolios in the Assam government, alleged that this was a clear case of “political conspiracy and they not even spare my minor daughter reflecting an extremely low mindset”.
He told the media that he has been “attacked by his opponents on all fronts but after failing to create any impact, these adversaries are adopting a different way to malign his character and his family members”.
Additional Director General of Police (law and order), G.P. Singh, said that the police would take strong action against all such attempts under the stringent provisions of the law.
He said that the two journalists have been arrested and three others have been detained on the basis of a case registered with the Dispur police station under IPC Section 509 (intending to abuse the modesty of any woman), and Sections 14 and 21 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
“Action will be taken against all the persons who use any of the social media platforms to maliciously use such platforms for furthering this conspiracy,” Singh tweeted.
The news portal, however, subsequently apologised by claiming that the girl in the photo was Sarma’s daughter and blamed others for sharing the photo to denigrate the minister.