Mamata's morphed photo: BJP activist, released after day's delay, alleges torture

Says won't apologise; SC terms the arrest 'prima facie arbitrary'

BJP Youth Wing convenor Priyanka Sharma BJP Youth Wing convenor Priyanka Sharma | ANI Twitter

Almost a day after the Supreme Court granted her bail for sharing a meme of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BJP Youth Wing convenor Priyanka Sharma was released by the state police on Wednesday. Priyanka alleged torture in jail and said that she would fight the case and not apologise. "My bail was granted yesterday, but still I wasn't released for another 18 hours. They didn't allow me to meet my advocate and family. They made me sign an apology... I will fight this case. I will not apologise," Priyanka told media after her release.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had warned the West Bengal government of contempt charges for delaying Priyanka's release after her brother mentioned the matter before it and said that despite the court's order on Tuesday the activist has not been released from jail. "This is not done. First of all the arrest was prima facie arbitrary," the bench said and warned it would issue contempt against officials concerned if Sharma is not released immediately from jail.

However, the counsel appearing for the West Bengal government told a vacation bench comprising justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna that Sharma has been released from jail at around 9:40am on Wednesday.

The bench then asked the counsel representing Sharma's brother Rajib Sharma to take instruction on whether she has been released from jail or not. After a few minutes the counsel apprised the court that she has been released from jail.

Priyanka was arrested on May 10 by the West Bengal police under section 500 (defamation) of the IPC and under other provisions of the Information Technology Act on the complaint of a local Trinamool Congress leader Vibhas Hazra, the plea said.

Sharma allegedly shared on Facebook the photo in which Banerjee's face has been photoshopped on to actor Priyanka Chopra's picture from the MET Gala event in New York.

Her arrest was followed by protests from the BJP and other social media users. 

(With PTI inputs)