Gauhati High Court grants bail to Sikha Sarma

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Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court had granted bail to Assam-based author Sikha Sarma, who expressed her personal views on using the term ‘Swahid/martyr’.

Sarma was once arrested on April 6 on charges of sedition and other offenses for an alleged Facebook post on security forces after 22 personnel were killed in a Maoist attack in Chattisgarh.

As per the FIR, the accused petitioner had posted a Facebook post on April 5, 2021, showing disrespect to the martyrs of the Nation and that it was once also alleged that the accused petitioner in her post, “maligned and disregarded the sacrifice of the martyrs by urging ‘Media’ not to generate public sentiments in their favor and not to term and not to term them as ‘Swahids’ as they’re drawing a salary for the services and products they’re providing to the nation”.

It was once also alleged in the FIR that this defamatory remark had encountered public outrage in social media as on that day, the nation was once mourning the martyrdom of 22 Jawans killed throughout an anti-Naxal operation.

Allegedly, Sikha Sarma in her Facebook post wrote, “A person who draws salary for his service cannot be regarded as to be a martyr/swahid whether he dies on duty. Whether it’s so, then, an electrical worker who dies in an electric shock will have to also be regarded as as Swahid. News media, are not making the public emotional.”

The court observed that the prime facie grounds for arrest of the accused petitioner appear to have basically arisen out of the offense of ‘sedition’, which is made punishable under Section 124A of the IPC.

The Bodoland/ Assam / India / International

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