Two police complaints have been filed against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s West Bengal unit President Dilip Ghosh for saying that anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors were “shot like dogs” in states ruled by his party, PTI reported on Tuesday.
Senior Trinamool Congress leader and the state’s Food Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said that party activists lodged a police complaint in North 24 Parganas district. “The common people are living in fear,” he said. “Some are apprehending that Dilip Ghosh might kill them or shoot them. So a police complaint has been filed at Habra police station in North 24 Parganas, which is being treated as an FIR.”
The other police complaint was filed in Ranaghat area of Nadia district. An unidentified official with the district police said they were looking into the matter. A Trinamool Congress worker filed this complaint, alleging that Ghosh was provoking communal passion, IANS reported.
On Sunday, Ghosh criticised the Mamata Banerjee-led government “for not opening fire and ordering lathicharge” on Citizenship Act protestors who vandalised railway tracks, trains and other public property last month. “Our government in UP, Assam and Karnataka shot these people like dogs,” he said during the public meeting in Nadia district on Sunday. “You will come here, eat our food, stay here and damage public properties. Is it your zamindari? We will bash you with lathis, shoot you, and put you in jail.”
The BJP leader’s comments drew criticism from his party colleague Union minister Babul Supriyo, who distanced the party from Ghosh’s comments. Supriyo said Ghosh’s remarks were “a figment of his imagination”, and termed them as “irresponsible”. The minister also explained that the BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Assam never resorted to shooting people. Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao criticised Ghosh’s language.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday called Ghosh’s remarks “shameful”, and said Bengal was not like Uttar Pradesh.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11 and signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 13, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. At least 26 people died in last month’s protests against the law. Of these, 19 died in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka.