Bengal polls: Trinamool seeks campaign ban on Dilip Ghosh for his comment on Sitalkuchi violence
The BJP leader had claimed there will be more ‘Sitalkuchi-like instances’, referring to an incident where central forces opened fire on voters, killing 4.
The Trinamool Congress on Sunday sought a ban on election campaigning by BJP leader Dilip Ghosh for his recent remark that the central forces will open fire on voters if the “bad boys” of TMC do not behave in the future, India Today reported.
During the fourth phase of the West Bengal elections on Saturday, four people were killed when central security force personnel opened fire at a polling booth in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district, after some locals allegedly clashed with them. Another person was shot dead that day outside a polling booth in the same district by unidentified men.
While speaking about the incident at a rally on Sunday, Ghosh, the West Bengal BJP chief, claimed that there would be more “Sitalkuchi-like instances”.
The Trinamool Congress, in its complaint to the Election Commission, said Ghosh’s comment justified “murder” and demanded that the poll panel initiate legal proceedings against the BJP leader, besides restricting him from campaigning during the ongoing Assembly elections, ANI reported.
“Instead of condemning the acts of violence of CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] in the brutal cold-blooded killing of the four innocent people, Dilip Ghosh was actively seen condoning the acts and in fact encouraging a similar spell of violence in the ongoing elections in West Bengal,” the complaint said.
Notably, the firing was done by Central Armed Police Force, or CAPF personnel, and not CRPF ones, as the TMC mentioned in its complaint.
The party added that the remark indicated that the incident was “sponsored by the BJP and executed at the behest of the [Union] home minister”.
What Ghosh said
On Sunday, Ghosh claimed that what happened in Sitalkuchi was just the beginning. “Those who think that the central forces carry guns just for show are mistaken,” he said while campaigning for party candidate Parno Mitra in Baranagar. “If anyone takes law into his own hands, he will receive a befitting reply.”
He added: “Central forces will be deployed in booths. No one can scare you. We are there. And if anyone does, you saw what happened at Sitalkuchi. We will repeat the same everywhere.”
Following the violence on Saturday, the Election Commission had adjourned voting at one of the polling booths in Sitalkuchi. The poll panel also banned politicians from entering Cooch Behar district till Tuesday. Additionally, it extended the silence period before the next phase of the West Bengal elections, which is scheduled to take place on April 17, from 48 hours to 72 hours. The decision effectively cut short the campaigning period by a day.