The Assam Kaziranga University

A college student, 19, was detained by the Assam Police almost two months ago on accusations of penning an ‘anti-national poem.’

On Wednesday, her family and human rights defenders have appealed that she be released immediately on bail, in order to let her appear for her examination.

In accordance with the terms of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Barshashree Buragohain was detained on May 18. Buragohain is a second-year student at the DCB Girls College in Jorhat, where she is majoring in science. She was detained as a result of a deleted Facebook post of April 18.

Usha Buragohain, Barshashree’s mother said, “Her final exam is from July 16. You have kept her in the jail because of writing a poem. This is totally injustice. Her study life has been finished and as the exam is from July 16, we demand immediate bail for my daughter. I know my daughter and she doesn’t have that kind of mindset.”

According to Arindam Buragohain, Barshashree’s brother, the poem was not at all provocative.

“She had gone to her friend’s house to attend a family function. She was to have been released a day later after counselling during which the police made her delete all her poems supposedly supporting the ULFA(I),” Arindam Buragohain told media on Wednesday.

He added, “Since she was new to Facebook, we don’t know what exactly she wrote. The FIR says the police found two lines of a poem promoting treason and arrested her on May 18 under two sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.”

“The Assam government should not be so cruel. She can get bail if the government decides to be lenient. She took up a pen, not a firearm that the government should be afraid of,” activist Gyanen Chakraborty wrote on social media.

However, Assam’s Special Director-General of Police (Law and Order), G.P. Singh, justified the girl’s treatment.

He tweeted, “There’s a specific call to indulge in waging war against the State in her Facebook post ‘Akou Korim Rashtradroh’ (will indulge in treason again). When someone publicly professes support for a banned organisation and declares the intent of waging war against the Indian state, we are legally bound to prosecute that person. Following due process, a charge sheet shall be filed in a competent court of law. Let the law take its own course.”

The Assam Kaziranga University