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Assam: GU student’s arrest over alleged anti-Govt poem poses threat to Freedom of Speech, says Upamanyu Hazarika

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Prabajan Virodhi Mancha, Assam convenor Upamanyu Hazarika on July 22nd, 2020 said that Gauhati University student Dipjyoti Gogoi’s arrest poses threat to personal liberty and freedom of speech and expression.

“If Deepjyoti Gogoi has been arrested for forwarding a news report in social media then this spells extreme danger for personal liberty and freedom of speech and expression,” he said.

He further said that the publicity department of the Assam Government which had dubbed the news post forwarded by Deepjyoti as “fake news” has been proved to be false by the editor in chief of a portal in an open letter to the Government.

Also read: Assam: Gauhati University student arrested for reciting alleged ‘anti-government’ poem

Besides, he slammed the government for using the pliant police force to arrest a student for posting a thing, which has already been labeled as fake, instead of deploying them in rescue operation of the flood victims.

“It has become a practice of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to arrest people on the basis of social media post where he is subject to criticism. This is fundamental breach of fundamental rights and the law laid down by the Supreme Court on two counts,” he said adding that the Supreme Court in the case Shreya Singhal in 2015 had declared her arrest and registration of an offence for a social media post to be in breach of her fundamental rights and section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 was set aside.

He said, “If the Chief Minister lacks such basic courage to face criticism and misuses the law in so unconstitutional manner, then senior police officials and particularly the Advocate General of the State should have cautioned and advised him against such grossly arbitrary steps.”

On Monday last, Dipjyoti Gogoi, student of Gauhati University was arrested for allegedly reciting an “anti-Government” poem on Social Media. A poem named as “Rashtrok Ekhon Mukoli Sithi” (An Open letter to the Nation), originally a poem by Raju Chetia Phukon

According to the Police, his recitation lays out to be called as “anti-National”, or “anti-Government”, which led to an immediate arrest of the Gauhati Univerity Student.

Now as per reports the DIPR has confirm, Assam Police apprehended Dipjyoti Gogoi creating “fake information”. Case has been registered under Crime Branch PS Case no. 11/20 U/S 419/420/34 IPC read with Section 66 C of IT Act. Further investigation to be carried by Assam Police.

The poem by the University student talks about releasing Akhil Gogoi and evokes the state to release him.

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