File photo: Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam Police on February 17 arrested two digital journalists for their alleged attempt to malign Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma after they shared a photo of him along with his daughter with a “salacious intent”, police said.

Taufiquddin Ahmad, the editor-in-chief of local news website Pratibimba Live, and its news editor Iqbal were arrested to investigate the “conspiracy”, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) GP Singh said.

Singh tweeted that police will take strong action against all such attempts under stringent provisions of the POCSO Act.

The journalists were arrested on the basis of a case registered at the Dispur police station under IPC section 509 (intending to insult the modesty of any woman), and sections 14 and 21 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, he said.

“Action shall be taken against all persons irrespective of their place of residence who use any of the social media platforms to maliciously use such platforms for furthering this conspiracy,” Singh added.

The website had shared a photo of the minister hugging his daughter, following which it went viral on social media.

The website later apologised for not mentioning that the girl in the photo was the Assam minister’s daughter and blamed others for sharing it with the intent to defame Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The news outlet received backlash for the intent to post the photo with Himanta Biswa Sarma retweeting it and mentioning that it was him and his daughter.

Police said they are investigating the matter to identify those behind the post going viral.

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