A guest lecturer at Gurucharan College in Assam’s Silchar was arrested on Friday, 28 February, for a Facebook post he wrote where he allegedly ‘abused the Sanatan Dharma’ and called PM Modi a ‘mass murderer’. He has been granted bail by a local court on 3 March.
The 25-year-old Physics lecturer, Souradeep Sengupta, was booked under Sections 295(A) (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 153(A) ( promoting, attempting to promote disharmony), 507 IPC (criminal intimidation) and the now-scrapped 66 (IT Act). The post has since been deleted.
Binayak Gupta, cousin of Sengupta, told The Quint that the latter was produced before the district magistrate on Saturday, 29 February, where his bail plea was put on hold and he was remanded to judicial custody.
Students of the college had also written a memorandum to the college principal, demanding his termination:
“In the FIR registered at Sadar police station, it is alleged that he tried to incite communal violence, ‘in the context of the recent Delhi violence... we believe that any such hate monger should be punished under Indian law.’”
In a Facebook post on 27 February, Sengupta had apologised for hurting religious sentiments saying it was ‘a lapse of judgement.’
‘Gheraoed His House, Abused His Mother’
Gupta, Sengupta’s cousin, said there were two Facebook posts that put him on the radar of ABVP and Bajrang Dal members.
“I had an altercation with Bajrang Dal workers over a Facebook post of a friend’s. After that, they started openly threatening me, asking for my number, and I started getting calls from unknown members, which on Truecaller said Bajrang Dal. He had shared this post saying ‘Hindutva is cancelled’. That was not the end of it,” he said.
According to Gupta, the following day, his cousin put up the post, that has been referred to in the FIR.
“After that, his post was shared on student groups widely, where ABVP got heed of that. The following day, the ABVP student union of DC college, where he is guest lecturer, posted on social media demanding his termination... that gained a lot of traction. He went underground after that,” he said.
On Friday afternoon, a group of 10-odd men reportedly went to his house searching for him, but nobody was at home. Gupta said that by the evening, some 80-100 gheraoed his house, demanding that Sengupta issue an apology on Facebook live.
“They abused his mom, a government school teacher for the last 30 years, asking what kind of mother she was, what kind of Hindu she was and other abusive comments. The moment Souradeep entered the residence, the members left and police walked in and arrested him,” said Gupta.
‘Terminate Sengupta’s Contract’
In a letter to the college authorities, the students demanded the termination of Sengupta’s contract.
The letter claims that if he is allowed to continue, his “destructive ideology” will influence other students.
“As a guest lecturer of the college, by applying his destructive ideology in teaching he has influenced many students and will continue influencing many more, if he is allowed to continue as a guest lecturer of this highly esteemed institute of our state,” the students’ letter to the college read.
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