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Won't apologise, nothing wrong in sharing a meme, says BJP worker Priyanka Sharma after release from Kolkata jail

BJP worker Priyanka Sharma on Wednesday asserted that she will not apolosise she sharing a meme of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Facebook. "I'm not going to apologise. I have not done anything wrong. I'm going to fight this case," she said at a press conference held after she was released from Kolkata's Alipore jail.

Sharma — arrested last week for sharing a morphed image of Mamata — was released from jail about an hour after the Supreme Court warned the West Bengal government that it will face contempt charges if the police did not release the BJP youth wing leader despite its order granting her bail on Tuesday. The court pulled up the state government, observing that Sharma's arrest, prima facie, was arbitrary to begin with.

 Wont apologise, nothing wrong in sharing a meme, says BJP worker Priyanka Sharma after release from Kolkata jail

BJP Youth Wing leader Priyanka Sharma, who was arrested after sharing a meme of Mamata Banerjee. ANI

At the press conference, Sharma told reporters that she was kept in jail for 18 hours despite getting bail from the Supreme Court. "I was not allowed to speak to my family or parents since my arrest (on 10 May)," she said.

The BJP worker claimed that the police had forced her to sign a "mafinama", saying that she would not be allowed to leave without singing the letter first. She also claimed that the jail staff had manhandled her.

"The meme was posted countrywide, but they took action against me only because I'm from the BJP," Sharma said. "Where's the justice if the TMC beats up anyone who speaks against them?"

She further claimed that the complainant in the case, councillor of Ward No 9 in Howrah Bivas Chandra Hazra, was a "bully" who went around threatening people to not support the BJP.

Sharma had shared an image of the West Bengal chief minister's face edited onto a photograph of actor Priyanka Chopra from the Met Gala earlier this month.

Her lawyers have moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking action against the West Bengal Police. The court will hear this case in the first week of July.

Sharma was charged with defamation under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, Section 66A (offensive messages) and the non-bailable Section 67A (punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc, in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act. She was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days after being produced at a court in Howrah on Friday, 10 May.

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Updated Date: May 15, 2019 12:45:48 IST