18/10/2016 11:29 AM IST | Updated 19/10/2016 10:13 AM IST

How A Facebook Post Slamming Mamata Turned Into A Public Nightmare For A 21-Year-Old Woman In Kolkata

"Is this democracy?"

NurPhoto via Getty Images
Spectators watching the immersion procession of Hindu goddess Durga idol in Red road in Kolkata.

When Rajashree Chattopadhyay, a 21-year-old engineering student in Kolkata, found a hoarding outside her house displaying her Facebook page, she was terrified. In a Facebook post, she had criticized the Bengal Chief Minister for a new tableau-style parade on the lines of the Rio carnival before immersion of Durga idols in the river.

The apparent bullying instantly reminded her of the 2012 incident, when Ambikesh Mahapatra, a Jadavpur University professor was arrested for posting a cartoon of Banerjee on Facebook.

"I found it a little strange that while state employees were not getting DA because of financial crunch, money was being wasted like this," she told Indian Express.

On Friday, she wrote a Facebook post slamming Banerjee's decision to hold the carnival-style Durga immersion. "Bhashane Haribol! Mananiya apni chuloi jaan, (RIP, immersion. To hell with you, dear madam)," she wrote.

The parade of Durga idols for immersion was pitched as Kolkata's answer to the famous Brazil carnival.

Termed 'Pujor pore thakur dekha' (viewing idols after the Pujas), 39 pujas that won the Bengal government's annual award were paraded before their immersion.

Two days later, a group of TMC supporters reportedly assembled near her house and asked her to apologise in public. She did not.

The same day, a 5 feet-7-inch hoarding came up outside her house in the Dum Dum area that was accompanied by the chilling message -- 'Shame on you'.

"How can a 21-year-old say such things? Especially when the chief minister is doing so much for the state," a resident of the same area told NDTV. "It's our money. I am not against anything in particular but I have full rights to question people as a citizen of the state," she said.

"The hoarding has now been taken down," Rajashree told HuffPost India. However, she says, she still feels threatened. "After all it was put up by my neighbours, people who live next to my house," she said.

She said she is not lodging a complaint with the police, but will take 'strict action'. "How can I complain against people who has seen me growing up? It's heartbreaking that this happened," she said.

"But, is this West Bengal's democracy," she asked.

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