West Bengal BJP chief, party’s Bhabanipur bye-poll candidate booked after protest near CM’s home
The BJP held a procession with the body of a party worker who they claimed was a victim of the post-poll violence.
The Kolkata Police on Friday booked Bharatiya Janata Party West Bengal chief Sukanta Majumder along with party leaders Arjun Singh, Priyanka Tibrewal and Jyotirmoy Singh Mahato for protesting near the chief minister’s home, reported ANI.
The case has been registered at the Kalighat police station a day after the BJP workers held a procession with the body of a party leader. When the police stopped the procession, some BJP leaders clashed with the officers and then sat down on a dharna in front of the hearse.
The case was registered under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 145 (whoever joins or continues in an unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation) and 353 (obstructing public servants from discharging their duty) of the Indian Penal Code. Of these, Section 353 is non-bailable.
While Singh and Mahato are both BJP MPs, Tibrewal is the saffron party’s candidate for the September 30 Bhabanipur bye-polls. She is contesting against West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
On Thursday, the body of BJP leader Manas Saha was brought to the party office in Kolkata before his funeral. Saha, who was the party’s candidate from Mograhat seat in South 24 Parganas district in the state Assembly elections, died at a private hospital on Wednesday.
The saffron party has alleged that he was a victim of the post-poll violence. West Bengal had witnessed several incidents of violence after the Assembly election results were announced on May 2. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers.
After Saha’s body was brought to the party office, leaders decided to hold a procession with the hearse in tow.
Majumdar was leading the procession, which was moving towards Mamata Banerjee’s home in Kalighat. Clashes broke out when the police stopped the procession. Later, BJP leaders Majumdar, Singh, Tibrewal, Mahato and others held protests against the police action.
“Whatever happened today was a matter of national shame,” Majumdar told ANI on Thursday. “Manas Da who was the BJP candidate from Magrahat was assaulted and beaten on the day of counting. After battling for so many days, he succumbed to injuries on Wednesday.”
The state BJP chief alleged that the police tried to “hijack the body”. Majumdar accused the deputy commissioner of police, Kolkata (South), of physically harassing him.
After the case was filed, Majumdar described the state police as a partial and politically motivated force, reported NDTV. He alleged that the way the police behaved with the party’s Bhabanipur candidate amounted to “sexual harassment”.
Tibrewal said she was being harassed because she was fighting the elections against Banerjee.
State minister Firhad Hakim said the BJP had violated the law by trying to breach the high security zone around the chief minister’s house. “The law will take its own course, the police will do its own job,” he told NDTV. “We in Trinamool have nothing to do with it.”