Kolkata: A Jadavpore University professor, arrested for allegedly circulating defamatory cartoons of some Trinamool Congress leaders including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Friday claimed he had sent the mail for "pure fun" to his friends.
Ambikesh Mahapatra, a professor of physical chemistry, alleged he was mercilessly beaten up by `Trinamool Congress` members and forced to give a signed statement Thursday night that he had posted it online "motivatedly" as he was "an active Communist Party of India-Marxist worker".
"This mail was in circulation for some time. It had come to me. I liked it. So I sent it to my friends and members of my housing society in March for pure fun and some laughs. My only mistake was I sent it from the registered email id of the housing society," Mahapatra told mediapersons after getting bail Friday afternoon.
"When some members of the housing society objected, I sent them a mail apologising for my mistake on April 3," he said.
Recounting the ordeal he had to undergo, Mahapatra said while returning home Thursday night, some youths grabbed him and forcibly took him to the housing society office. "There they started beating me up mercilessly. When I started crying and begged them to spare my life, I was ordered to write out a statement admitting my mistake and apologising."
"When I did so, they were not satisfied. They asked me to write I did it motivatedly and that I was an active member of the CPI-M. Fearing for my life, I obliged them again," said Mahapatra.
The professor was then dragged to the East Jadavpore police station where the police detained him and arrested him after extensive questioning.
Asked whether he regretted sending the mail, Mahapatra replied: "No. If I find any other mail equally funny, I will send it to my friends again. But yes, I am pained at what befell me since last night. I never thought such a thing can happen to me. I can only say this is very unfortunate."
Queried if he knew the youths who beat him up, the professor said: "I could identify some of them… As for their political affiliation, the complaint filed against me was on the letterhead of the Trinamool Congress. Now you can draw your own conclusion."