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BREAKING: Assam activist picked up by police for ‘army men cannot be martyrs’ post

GUWAHATI: Popular Assamese writer cum activist Sikha Sarma has been picked up by the officials of the Dispur police station for controversial remarks against the armed forces.

According to our sources, Sarma was picked up from her Guwahati residence moments earlier and has now been taken to the police station, where she is expected to be interrogated.

Yesterday, Urmi Deka Baruah and Kongkona Goswami, two prominent advocates from Assam, lodged an FIR at the Dispur police station in Guwahati seeking “strict action” against Sarma for making the ‘distasteful remark’ against the army fraternity.

Sikha Sarma stirred up a controversy a couple of days back with a “slight” towards the armed forces a day after Assam lost two of its sons — inspector Dilip Kumar Das and constable Bablu Rabha — in the attack by Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

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Taking to Facebook, Sarma told the media to not make the people ’emotional’: “Persons who take salaries and die aren’t martyrs. If that is the case, electricity department workers who die of electrocution would also be branded as martyrs. Do not make the people emotional, media.”

Sarma’s post against the background of the deadly Maoist attack has triggered outrage on social media, with netizens demanding strict action against her.

Asked by InsideNE what she meant by her statement, Sarma said, “Proper discussions and deliberations have to be conducted to actually determine what I meant by that statement. To figure it out, one must first ask — what is the true meaning of the word martyr.”

“[…] This defamatory comment has also encountered public outrage in social media as the nation today is mourning the mastyrdom of 22 jawans killed during an anti-Naxal operation in Chattisgarh on 3rd April, 2021,” the advocates pointed out in the complaint.

The FIR further contended that the remark “not only reduces the unparalleled sacrifice of our jawans to a mere moneymaking discourse, but is also a verbal assault on the spirit and sanctity of service to the nation.”

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