Calling the Supreme Court’s order to immediately release West Bengal BJYM activist Priyanka Sharma a victory for the family, her mother Raj Kumari Sharma on Tuesday said that Priyanka has for some time now actively taken part in BJP programmes in the area, and had officially joined the BJYM, the saffron party’s youth wing, two years ago.
From the beginning, Priyanka did not like the TMC Raj Kumari said at the family home – a two-storey house in Dasnagar area of Howrah district, about 10 km from Kolkata, across the Howrah Bridge.
Sharma, 25, whose Facebook profile describes her as the district club cell convener of BJYM, was arrested on May 10 for allegedly sharing a morphed image of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The image is no longer on her Facebook timeline.
I am very happy that my personal ordeal is over. The judiciary has stood up for what is correct – this is our victory and a great time for family and friends,” Raj Kumari told The Indian Express.
She said, “The first thing I will do when Priyanka gets home is to sit with her and feed her good food. I will order biryani – that is her favourite.” Recalling her daughter’s arrest, Raj Kumari said, “The police came around 8.30 am on May 10 —- there were about a dozen police personnel, including women officials. I thought they had come to a wrong address but then they asked whether Priyanka was home. Her cellphone was taken and sealed immediately. They soon took her to the police station and arrested her. “I felt so humiliated…”
After a Howrah court sent her to 14-day judicial custody in the case, Sharma was reportedly forced to move the Supreme Court since there was a strike in local courts until May 14.
Calling it the party’s victory, BJYM district president Om Prakash Singh said: “This (SC order) is a slap on Mamata Banerjee government’s face for trying to curb freedom of speech…. It’s a victory for freedom of expression.”
The complainant in the case, local councillor Bibash Hazra of TMC, who has his office near the Sharmas’ residence, also welcomed the court’s decision and said he made the complaint only to “stop people from intentionally disturbing peace in the area”. He said, “I saw people gathering outside her (Sharma’s) home, accusing her of insulting Mamata Banerjee…. The post was going viral, and to control the situation I did what I should have done as a representative of people.”
Around 3.30 pm on Tuesday, Raj Kumari Sharma left home to bring her daughter back from Alipore Jail, sporting a big smile and an attire gifted by her daughter. “Keep masala tea ready for her. She loves tea,” Raj Kumari Sharma told her elder sister Radha Singh before