The Assam Police have arrested two members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) social media team on Thursday, June 13, for allegedly making communal remarks on Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal through posts on their private social media handles.
While Nitumoni Bora and Nani Gopal Dutta were arrested for communal and derogatory social media posts, the house of another member, Hemanta Baruah, was raided by the police on Wednesday night.
In recent social media posts, Bora had claimed that the BJP government was unable to protect indigenous Assamese from migrant Muslim settlers in Assam. He also posted that he believed the Chief Minister was to blame for the failure to maintain law and order in the state.
He demanded BJP legislator from Jalukbari assembly seat, Himanta Biswa Sharma, to be sworn in as the new Home Minister.
"There was an FIR lodged against Nitumoni Bora by Raju Mahanta last night based on which we have arrested him. It was stated in the FIR that he had posted a derogatory comment against the Chief Minister," Swapneel Deka, Superintendent of Police, Morigaon, reportedly said.
The social media team of BJP questioned the internal democracy of the party, after the arrests.
"We have been working very hard since 2014 to popularize the party (BJP) in Assam because we love the party and its ideals. We had launched an aggressive social media campaign against the then ruling Congress, exposing the party and its misrule to the people which in fact paved way for a change of guard in Assam. However, our members were not arrested by the then Congress government," a member of the BJP's social media team said.
"How can they stop us from exercising our right to freedom of speech? This is intolerance if I cannot speak my mind on social media. None of the members has made any derogatory comment. However, some of the members-only expressed their unhappiness when the government fails to protect the indigenous people of the state. There is nothing wrong in it," he added.