Two months on, Assam youth still in jail for Facebook comment

A 22-year-old youth of Amguri town in Assam’s Sivsagar district has been in jail for more than two months after he had allegedly posted a comment on Facebook in support of banned terror outfit United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I).

Bitupan Changmai, who had commented on a Jorhat college girl-student Barshashree Buragohain’s poem that she posted on Facebook, was subsequently nabbed by the police on the allegation of supporting ULFA-I.

Changmai was arrested from his house on May 19, and presented in the Sivsagar district court the next day.

He was booked under 120B/121/121A sections of the IPC and the stringent Unlawful Activities (Preventions) Act has also been slapped on him.

He was lodged in the Sivsagar district jail after the magistrate sent him to judicial custody.

The Officer-In-Charge of Amguri police station told IANS that they were informed by the cyber cell of the ‘unlawful’ activities of Changmai, and was instructed to take him in the custody. The police then went to his house and arrested Bitupan.

The police officer also said that the 22-year-old has completed his studies and was probably looking for a job.

Barshashree Buragohain, who was accused of “supporting” ULFA-I, was granted bail recently by the Gauhati High Court. Following that, the chorus has grown for Bitupan Changmai’s release as well.

Few organisations have submitted that the government should take steps to free the 22-year-old youth so that he can lead a normal life.

Changmai’s mother has also issued an appeal for his release. It was learned that he had applied for a few jobs but missed appearing in the interviews as he was behind the bars.

When asked about his release, Additional Superintendent of Police of Sivsagar district Arif Ahmed said the matter is pending before the court.

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