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By A Newsman

Asansol, 12 July: THE state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested a BJP leader from West Burdwan district for posting a fake video on Facebook about two months ago leading to unrest in Birbhum.

Arrested Tarun Sengupta is the secretary of BJP’s information technology cell at Asansol. He was picked up from his residence at Hirapur late last night.

In his late 40’s, Sengupta is accused of posting a video on Facebook wherein a police officer could be seen beating up a youth mercilessly. In the accompanying caption, the BJP leader wrote that it was a Hindu youth who was being tortured by a Muslim police officer.

The post got viral in Burdwan-Birbhum and led to communal tension in some pocket of Birbhum. In subsequent investigation, police found out that the video was fake and had nothing to do with Birbhum. The case was recently referred to CID.

CID has arrested Sengupta on charges of inciting enmity between communities and instigating people against the police. The agency suspects that an organised module is active in the state to foment communal disturbances through fake and malicious posts on social media.

Reacting to the arrest, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh accused the administration of maintaining double standards.

“A few months ago Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien had posted doctored photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the party website and social media accounts, but police took no action against him. Now, a BJP leader may have mistakenly posted a video on Facebook two months ago, and for this he is being hounded,” he said.

Ghosh maintained that no action against O’Brien had sent out a signal to people that posting fake photographs / video on social media were not punishable and this led to similar offences being committed in the state knowingly or unknowingly. He said that state BJP has no plans to moderate social media posts by party workers and supporters.

In the wake of recent communal strife at Bairhat in North 24-Parganas, police last week had arrested a BJP worker named Bhabotosh Chatterjee from South 24-Parganas district.

State CID has also registered an FIR against Amit Malviya, in-charge of BJP’s national IT cell, for tailoring and circulating a photo of 2002 Gujarat riots as one from Basirhat. FIRs have also been lodged by private citizens against BJP national leader Nupur Sharma for sharing the same of her Facebook.

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