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Mamata cartoon row: BJP condemns assault on Jadavpur University professor

New Delhi , Sat, 14 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 14 (ANI): Stating that there always has to be space for dissent in a democratic set up, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday condemned the brutal assault on Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra over a cartoon that shows West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with Railway Minister Mukul Roy planning how to get rid of TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi.

"I really don't understand in a democratic country there is always a space for dissent. And if somebody is not allowing any dissent in a democratic format then this is a serious issue," said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.

"What to read and what not to read is the readers choice; it cannot be the leaders choice. We must develop the ability to tolerate. And this type of vindictive attitude will definitely turn many, who were supporting the government to stop supporting the government," he added.

Professor Mahapatra was assaulted on April 12 for forwarding anti-Mamata Banerjee cartoons via email to about 65 people.

The chemistry professor at the prestigious Jadavpur University was arrested by the police late on Thursday night and produced in an Alipore court.

According to reports, he was released on bail last evening, but only after a written statement - which the professor said he was forced to write - that he was an active member of the CPM.

The professor was arrested on charges of eve-teasing (Section 509 of the IPC), defamation (Section 500 of the IPC), humiliating a woman (Section 114 of the IPC) and causing offence using a computer (Section 66 A (b) of the IT Act).

The arrest of Prof Mahapatra has been widely discussed in the media all over the country today.(ANI)

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