The Kolkata Police on Monday lodged a first information report against the All India Hindu Mahasabha chief for replacing a demon in a Durga pandal with a lookalike of Mahatma Gandhi, The Indian Express reported.
The police have asked the Hindutva organisation to add a wig and a moustache to the demon.
West Bengal All India Hindu Mahasabha President Chandrachur Goswami claimed that he received a call from the home ministry over the controversy, saying that similarities between the demon and Mahatma Gandhi were unacceptable.
On Sunday, many political parties had pointed out that the demon looked like Gandhi.
Trinamool Congress state General Secretary Kunal Ghosh said that replacing a demon with Gandhi was indecent.
“This is the real face of BJP,” he said. “The rest of what they do is drama. Mahatma Gandhi is the father of the nation. The world respects Gandhi and his ideology. Such an insult to Mahatma Gandhi cannot be accepted. We protest strongly.”
Congress spokesperson Soumya Aich Roy said that such an insult towards Gandhi was a shame for the whole world.
The West Bengal unit of the BJP has also castigated the organisers, PTI reported. State president of the party Sukanta Majumdar said that replacing a demon with Mahatma Gandhi was in poor taste.
However, Goswani had denied the allegations, saying that a bald person with spectacles need not be Mahatma Gandhi, The Indian Express reported.
“It is coincidental that our asura whom Maa Durga is killing, looks like Gandhi,” he said. “Many people said it looks like Gandhi. However, it is also true that Gandhi needs to be criticised.”
Goswami also said that Gandhi’s role in India’s freedom movement needs to be re-evaluated.
“Our real heroes are Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh,” he added. “We do not fear to criticise Gandhi. Someone has to bell the cat. He does not derive respect. We want to send a clear message to all that we want Gandhi-mukt Bharatvarsh.”
On Monday, when an FIR was filed against him, he claimed that there were vested political interests in closing the venue, The Indian Express reported.
The case was lodged under Indian Penal Code Sections 188 (disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant), 283 (causing danger or obstruction in any public way), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
Before the action was taken, Alt News Senior Editor Indradeep Bhattacharyya on Sunday alleged that the Kolkata Police asked him to delete a tweet about the pandal as they believe that it might create tensions.