Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday lashed out against the professor who had been arrested last month for allegedly circulating a "cartoon" defaming her, saying the act was a cybercrime as he used an unauthorised email id for sending it.
"I was in Durgapur when I was informed that one person has been arrested for sending an email. The arrest was done based on complaint filed by the recipients of the mail," Banerjee said a meeting of party workers here.
She said the professor had sent the mail not form his id, but from another id without permission.
Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra was arrested April 13 after he circulated 'defamatory' cartoons of some Trinamool Congress leaders including Banerjee. The professor had circulated the mail by using the registered mail id of his housing society.
"Why did he use the mail id without permission. It was nothing short of a cyber crime. It was nothing short of character assassination," Banerjee said.
She claimed it was not even a cartoon.
"Cartoon is something else. Some photos were 'decomposed'," she alleged.
Banerjee said if a rickshaw puller can be arrested for doing something unlawful, why should there be a hue and cry when a professor is taken into custody for committing an offence.
"Everyone is equal before the law. It was a series of pictures. And it says 'vanish'. That is in bad taste. How could a professor do this? And when such a professor is arrested, the protests highlight his identity as a professor.".
Banerjee claimed her government has been extremely polite and withstood all sorts of malicious campaigns and attacks without reacting. "We never attack or physically assault anyone for such campaign," she said.
Mahapatra's arrest had evoked severe criticism from all quarters while many others chose social networking sites to vent their ire by ridiculing the Banerjee government for the police action. However, he was bailed out after spending a night in the police lock up after being beaten up by promoters allegedly close to the Trinamool Congress.
The collage allegedly includes photographs of Banerjee and Railway Minister Mukul Roy and uses some dialogues of Satyajit Ray's detective masterpiece on celluloid "Sonar Kella" showing the duo discussing how to get rid of Dinesh Trivedi who was forced by Banerjee to give up the railways portfolio.
Mukul is the name of the child protagonist of the movie, one of the all-time hits in Bengali film history. The story is based on Mukul's abduction by some miscreants and how detective Feluda rescues him.