GUWAHATI: A Muslim schoolteacher in Assam has been arrested after it was found that his WhatsApp profile carried “offensive” photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Police said the WhatsApp profile of the teacher, identified as Abdul Hamid Barbhuiya, contained two pictures. One showed a dog with Modi’s face and was captioned “dutiful dog”. The other showed a “figure” with the PM’s face milking a dog.
“His contacts knew about the photos as they could see them on his DP. We learnt about it yesterday (Tuesday) and arrested him at night,” Hailakandi superintendent of police, Pranabjyoti Goswami, told New Indian Express.
“We don’t know if he is ignorant. A case under Section 66 A (b) IT Act read with Section 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against him. He will be produced before a court today (Wednesday),” Goswami added.
Barbhuiya works at the Janakicharan Higher Secondary School in southern Assam’s Hailakandi district.
Following the man's arrest, the opposition Congress party criticised the ruling BJP for its alleged intolerance.
“Indira Gandhi faced such caricatures all her life. Haven’t there been cartoons even against (Congress vice president) Rahul Gandhi? By arresting the teacher, they have only proved that they are intolerant,” Congress spokesman Apurba Bhattacharya said.
The state’s director general of police, Mukesh Sahay, said the act would amount to an offence if it was done with a criminal intention.
“If such an act is done with an intention to defame a person holding a high public office or show him in bad light, it may amount to an offence. A critical ingredient of any criminal offence is criminal intention; whether he is doing it intentionally with a view to hurt somebody,” Sahay said.