Unlike Mamata, Omar Plays Down Caricature On Facebook

Unlike Mamata, Omar Plays Down Caricature On Facebook

15 April 2012
India Today
Naseer Ganai

Srinagar: A day after 16 young men were summoned for Facebook updates by Jammu and Kashmir police, chief minister Omar Abdullah said unlike Mamata Banerjee he is tolerant. The CM said on Sunday that if he would start arresting people for making fun or cartoons of him, then he will run out of prison space. 'Don't worry if I arrested everyone who made fun of me or a cartoon of me I'd run out of prison space in a flash,' tweeted the chief minister when asked by a follower on micro-blogging site tweeter.com about Mamata Banerjee's cartoon row. The follower Rajesh Koul had tweeted the CM after the arrest of Jadavpur University professor in Bengal, saying he was worried as he also had made a caricature of Omar and posted it on social networking site Facebook. However, in early 2010, when morphed image of National Conference founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, his son Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah portraying them as 3 Idiots appeared on Facebook, the National Conference created an uproar. The image, which was later removed, had a caption saying the lyrics of the film have been written by 'Betrayers of Kashmir.' The National Conference had accused the Peoples Democratic Party of creating the image and spreading the message about it through SMS. The NC had staged protest at party headquarters and described the image as 'grave provocation.' In the past three years a number of caricatures of Omar Abdullah and Dr Farooq Abdullah were posted on Facebook. But both the leaders did not react to them. Meanwhile, in the ongoing drive against 'anti-India' Facebook page administrators, police last week summoned 16 youth and questioned them for running anti-government and anti-police pages on Facebook. A senior police official said these Facebook pages operated by the youth were responsible for fomenting trouble in Srinagar and other towns of Kashmir during the summer uprising of 2010. Police accused them of indulging in 'propaganda' and 'anti-national activities' on Facebook. Police said many of the youth questioned were students. 'We released them after questioning. They were counselled. Investigation is going on,' a senior police official said. Police said they summoned four administrators of these, 'anti-government pages' and have identified 24 other youth, who will be summoned in near future. Police said many of these administrators are based in Kashmir while as some are also running 'anti-government' pages from Europe. An FIR under section 66 IT Act and 13 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act have been registered against them. The drive has created fear among the youth and many have de-activated their Facebook accounts. In December last year the police filed a case against top officials of Board of School Education on a graphic sketch of a T-shirt wearing mustachioed man with a stick in hand in standard I school textbook. The man was described in Urdu as 'zaalim' (oppressor). Police suspected that the man resembled them. In 2010, the cops had booked and arrested a college lecturer who had asked students to translate a passage 'Are stone pelters real heroes? The question and a paragraph in Urdu had highlighted alleged atrocities of police and security forces in 2010.