A blogger Tarak Biswas was arrested on Thursday in West Bengal for critiquing Islam in a post on social media. Biswas was arrested after a local Trinamool Congress leader Sanaullah Khan registered a first information report with the Howrah Police.
Biswas was charged under sections 295 A (insulting religion), 298 (hurt religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code as well section 66, 67 and 67 A of the Information Technology Act (posting and sending offensive messages), according to a report in dna.
Biswas has been sent to seven days of police custody by a local court.
Human rights violations
The human rights group Association For Protection of Democratic Rights has criticised the case against Biswas as well as the manner of his arrest. "Our investigation today revealed gross violation of human rights in Tarak Biswas's arrest", said APDR vice president Ranjit Sur. "Tarak was "kidnapped" by police from Kalyani. His family was not informed of the arrest, nor any arrest memo issued. Mandatory notice prior to arrest was not issued. So, in addition to violation of fundamental right of free speech, police violated all mandatory supreme court orders regarding arrest of a citizen".
The Association For Protection of Democratic Rights has also announced that it will fight the legal case on behalf of Biswas. A deputation will also be submitted to the Howrah Police demanding Biswas's immediate release and withdrawal of the cases against him.
Biswas self-identifies as a muktomona, a rationalist Bengali philosophy that has earlier been targeted by Islamists in Bangladesh.