- Rehna Sultana said she was reacting to a cricket match back in June 2017
- News website falsely claimed that the post was a few days old, she said
- Assam student also claimed she was being targeted for her social activism
A two-year-old Facebook post that seems to express support for Pakistan and encourage beef consumption has landed a Gauhati University research scholar in trouble, with Assam police filing a case against her. The accused - Rehna Sultana - claims that the post had been "misinterpreted", and was deleted minutes after it was originally posted in June 2017.
Police said they came to know about Rehna Sultana's post after a local news website reported about it on Wednesday, following which a case was registered against her under the Information Technology Act. The website claimed that she posted it the occasion of Eid Ul Azha.
"Ate beef today to support celebrate Pakistan's joy. What I eat depends on my tastebuds. But don't create a controversy and show your character hearing about beef," her long-deleted post read.
Rehna Sultana admitted that the post was hers, but denied claims that it was put up a few days ago. "It was posted on the day of an India-Pakistan match in June 2017. Virat Kohli was struck out for zero that day, and being a cricket fan, I uploaded that post out of frustration," she told NDTV.
The research scholar said she realised her mistake almost immediately. "I admit that I should not have done it, and that my post could be misinterpreted. That was why I deleted the post within minutes of uploading it," she added.
Incidentally, Rehna Sultana was also charged by the police along with nine others for sharing a poem criticising the National Register of Citizens exercise last month. She now claims that this particular post was dredged up for the sole purpose of undermining her social work.
"I work for including genuine citizens in the NRC list, and I often help them at hearings. I believe this issue has been raked up to demoralise me," she said, adding that there was nothing controversial about the poem she shared.
Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said the Guwahati Police Commissioner was looking into the case. "We are making all efforts to ensure that social media platforms are not used to spread fake news and hate messages. Local police departments have also been asked to keep an eye out for such instances," he added.