New Delhi: Accusing Mamata Banerjee of being "totally dictatorial, intolerant and whimsical", Press Council of India chief Markendey Katju, who had once praised her, on Sunday unleashed stinging criticism of West Bengal Chief Minister over arrest of a man who asked her a question during a rally.
    
Katju said the arrest of Siladitya Chowdhury, who was dubbed as a Maoist by the West Bengal chief minister at a rally after he asked what steps she was taking to help farmers, amounted to "blatant misuse" of state machinery and "flagrant violation" of constitutional and human rights.
    
"Her action is most undemocratic to say the least," he said in a statement today, holding that she is totally undeserving to be a political leader in a democratic country.
    
The former Supreme Court judge cautioned the administrative and police authorities there against taking her "illegal orders", warning that they could suffer the same fate as Nazi criminals did for acting on Hitler's directions.
    
"I had earlier given a statement in favour of Mamata Banerjee because I thought one should see good points in a person's personality also.
    
"But now I have changed my opinion and believe that she is totally undeserving to be a political leader in a democratic country like India since she has no respect for constitutional and civil rights of citizens and is totally dictatorial, intolerant, and whimsical in her behaviour," he said.
    
Expressing his "shock" over the arrest of the man, Katju said earlier also she has behaved in a high handed and dictatorial manner.
    
She had branded a college student Taniya Bharadwaj during a TV programme as a Maoist merely because she had asked an innocuous question. She had also got one Jadavpur University Professor arrested, Katju said.
    
The former Supreme Court judge warned the administrative and police authorities that they could face criminal proceedings for taking "illegal orders".
    
"At the Nuremburg Trials the Nazi war criminals took the plea that orders were orders and they were only carrying out the orders of Hitler, their superior, but this plea was rejected and they were hanged. The West Bengal officials should take a lesson from the Nuremburg verdict if they do not wish to suffer a similar fate," he said.

(Agencies)