Indian writer arrested on sedition charges over Facebook post about soldiers

By: News Desk      Published: 04:04 PM, 7 Apr, 2021
Indian writer arrested on sedition charges over Facebook post about soldiers
Writer Sikha Sarma was taken into custody in Assam.

Indian police have arrested an Assamese writer on charges of sedition and other offences over an alleged social media post about security forces following the deaths of 22 jawans in the deadly Maoists attack in Chhattisgarh.

Guwahati city police have arrested Sikha Sarma on charges of sedition and other offences over an alleged social media post on security forces.

The arrested writer, Sikha Sarma, was taken into custody on Tuesday under various charges, including Section 124A (sedition) of IPC.

The 48-year-old writer was arrested by police following an FIR lodged by Umi Deka Baruah and Kangkana Goswami. Sikha Sarma was first summoned by the police and later arrested after thorough interrogation.

A case has been registered at Dispur police station under Section 294 (a), 124(A), 500, 506 of IPC and Section 45 of IT Act.

According to reports, Sikha Sarma on Monday had allegedly written on her Facebook account “Salaried professionals who die in the line of duty can’t be termed martyrs. Going by that logic, the workers of the electricity department who die of electrocution should also be labelled martyrs. Do not make people sentiment, media.”

Guwahati City Police Commissioner Munna Prasad Gupta told India Today TV over the phone that police have arrested Sikha Sarma after a complaint lodged at the Dispur police station.

“Police had arrested her under various sections, including sedition charge. She will be produced before the court today,” Munna Prasad Gupta said.

The police have invoked the sedition charge against Sarma, even though the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that sedition is constituted by written or spoken words which “have the effect of bringing contempt or dissatisfaction or the idea of subverting government by violent means”. In Kedar Nath Singh v State of Bihar, the apex court said that if comments, however strongly worded, do not have the tendency to incite violence, they cannot be treated as sedition.