Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Dilip Ghosh and Suvendu Adhikari were detained on Monday for reportedly organising an event in Kolkata in violation of Covid-19 norms. They were taken to the police headquarters in Lal Bazar and eventually released, PTI reported.
The BJP had organised a demonstration in Kolkata, called “Save West Bengal Day”, to counter the Trinamool Congress’ ‘‘Khela Hobe Divas”, PTI reported.
West Bengal’s ruling party marked the ‘‘Khela Hobe Divas” to commemorate 16 people who were killed in a stampede at a stadium Kolkata in 1980. As a tribute to them, the West Bengal government organised football matches across the state on Monday.
Ghosh and Adhikari sat in protest near a Mahatma Gandhi statue at Mayo Road in Kolkata after the police detained their colleagues Mina Devi Purohit and Kalyan Choubey for gathering in another area, PTI reported.
Ghosh and Adhikari were also detained after their sit-in. “TMC [Trinamool Congress] is deliberately creating trouble in Tripura and talking about attack on democracy in that state,” Ghosh was quoted as saying by PTI. “What is it doing here? Not allowing us to carry on our peaceful protests.”
An unidentified police officer told PTI that a total of 50 BJP leaders and activists were detained for violating the Disaster Management Act.
The Trinamool Congress refused to comment on the development, but said the police could take action against those who violated safety guidelines. “I heard the requests by the police was not listened to [by BJP] but I won’t say anything more on a purely administrative decision,” Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said.
Meanwhile, West Bengal BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said the arrests showed how intolerant Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s government was, according to the news agency.
Jaiprakash Majumdar, BJP’s vice-president in West Bengal, claimed Trinamool Congress leaders had held gatherings in parts of the state but no action was taken against them.