At least two journalists are among six people arrested by the Assam police on Wednesday for sharing a photo of Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his minor daughter with "salacious" intent, the Indian Express reported.
Those arrested include Taufiquddin Ahmed and Iqbal, the editor-in-chief and news editor, respectively, of news portal Pratibimba Live, along with two other employees of the organisation. Express reported that one employee each of news portals Bodoland Digital and Spotlight Assam were also arrested.
The websites allegedly shared a photo of Sarma and his daughter without clarifying that she was his daughter. A case was registered under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (insulting modesty of a woman) and sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The Hindu reported that Sarma's wife had filed a complaint at Dispur police station. The newspaper quoted the minister as saying that to "stoop so low, and not spare even my minor daughter, reflects a very low mentality".
GP Singh, the ADGP (law and order) of the Assam police, tweeted that the police would take "strong action".
People are strongly advised not to give air to such attempts since posting such pictures with malicious intention attracts provisions of POCSO Act. @assampolice would take strong action against all such attempts under stringent provisions of POCSO Act. @DGPAssamPolice
Further,Puli Muchchary connected to Bodoland digital and Nang Noyonmoni Gogoi connected to Spotlight Assam, both digital platforms have been detained by police and would face lawful action. Once again, all are advised not to misuse digital/social media platforms. @DGPAssamPolice