This Article is From Apr 17, 2012

West Bengal CID asks Facebook to remove pictures mocking Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: After the controversial cartoon case, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee now seems to have taken offence to some of her pictures posted on Facebook. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state has written to the social networking site, asking it to remove four pictures lampooning Ms Banerjee.

The CID has also asked for the IP address of the computer from which the pictures were first uploaded. The pictures, though, do not include the one circulated by Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra. The academician spent a night in jail last week for sharing a cartoon that carried the Chief Minister. The cartoon shows Ms Banerjee along with now Railway Minister Mukul Roy, planning how to get rid of party MP and Mr Roy's predecessor, Dinesh Trivedi. The police action against Mr Mahapatra sparked state-wide outrage with many, including political parties, questioning the intolerant approach of the Trinamool Congress government.

The CID took over the Facebook case on April 12 following a police complaint filed by a resident of Kolkata who found the pictures depicting Ms Banerjee as offensive. A CID officer said that writing to Facebook was routine in event of complaints about the content on the social networking site. But sources say that asking for an IP address to track the origin of any online content is a first for the government.


The latest issue comes in the wake of a string of controversies surrounding Ms Banerjee including the recent cartoon row. She has also come under fire over the recent arrest of a molecular biologist, Partho Sarathi Ray, for his alleged role in the protests during the eviction drive at a slum in Kolkata. Scientists from India and abroad as also prominent activists have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention in getting Mr Ray released.

The Chief Minister also sparked a furore after she clamped down on newspapers being carried by state-run libraries.  The diktat, in the form of a circular, initially restricted the number of newspapers to be carried to eight which excluded all English dailies and some prominent vernacular papers like the Ananda Bazaar Patrika or the Bartaman. But under intense public pressure, Ms Banerjee changed the list to include five more newspapers including one English daily. The move was slammed by political parties with the civil society terming the move as "fascist".