Tripura Doctor Placed under Suspension for Opposing Citizenship Amendment Bill
In his reply to the director of Medical Education on September 11, Dr Chakraborty said that he had not posted any comment on social media as a public servant, but in his 'personal capacity as a free citizen of a free country'.
- Last Updated: October 22, 2019, 19:23 IST
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Guwahati: An Assistant Professor at the Agartala Government Medical College, Dr Kaushik Chakraborty, was suspended on Saturday for posting “objectionable remarks” on social media against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, and for criticizing the Tripura chief minister. In a show-cause notice served to Chakraborty on August 2, it was observed that his comments would "create a rift among the communities in the state".
In another order dated October 19, 2019, signed by the under-secretary to the Tripura government, Chakraborty has been asked not to leave Agartala without permission from the competent authority. The order further stated that his reply to the second show-cause notice was “not satisfactory, rather arrogance reflected in the reply”. It was held that disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against him for his “misconduct”.
In his reply to the director of Medical Education last month, Chakraborty said that he had not posted any comment on social media as a public servant, but in his “personal capacity as a free citizen of a free country”. The second show-cause notice served on August 31 had screenshots of the “objectionable posts” on Chakraborty’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
In his Tweet on February 10, 2019, Chakraborty wrote: “I’m a proud Indian citizen from Tripura and oppose Citizenship Amendment Bill as it would alter vulnerable demography in North-East India & create unwanted tension between many communities. On this issue, I am with Pradyot Manikya to protect the interests of legal citizens over illegal migrants.”
Royal scion and former Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President, Pradyot Manikya Debbarma, has extended his full support to Chakraborty.
“I spoke with him, and I have asked him to challenge this suspension in court if they come out with a chargesheet, which specifically states that he was suspended for opposing the Citizenship Bill. I will support him. If the law is different for people in Tripura than in Assam, or Meghalaya, then over a thousand government employees should be suspended for opposing the bill.”
Chakraborty’s son, Krishnangu Chakraborty, is a cancer survivor who underwent a bone marrow transplant last year at Tata Medical Centre in Kolkata. Sources said he has to pay regular follow-up visits to Kolkata for his child but with the government now imposing restrictions on his movement, he finds himself in a worrisome situation. However, sources close to Chakraborty said he is ready to put up a brave fight and face the departmental proceedings against him.
Chakraborty had even tendered an unconditional apology in his reply to the show-cause notice, stating that if his comments had caused any harm to anybody, it was “totally unintentional”.
“I would be very serious in future in making any comments on social media even in my personal capacity,” he said.
In February this year, the BJP-led government in Tripura had also ordered the police to file an FIR with sedition charges against tribal leaders and rights activists for participating in an anti-bill rally at Khumulwng, the headquarters of the Tripura Autonomous District Council.