West Bengal: EC imposes 48-hour ban on BJP’s Rahul Sinha for comments on Cooch Behar firing
The Election Commission has also issued a notice to BJP state unit chief Dilip Ghosh for his remarks about the same incident.
The Election Commission has imposed a 48-hour campaigning ban on Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rahul Sinha for his comments on the Cooch Behar firing by the central forces that killed four people, reported India Today on Tuesday. The ban started from 12 pm on Tuesday and will end on noon on Thursday.
The Election Commission has also issued a notice to BJP West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh for his comments about the same incident. The notice said that Ghosh made provocative statements which could lead to a “breakdown of law and order thereby adversely affecting the election process”, according to PTI. Ghosh has been asked to explain his remarks by 10 am on Wednesday.
On April 10, four people were killed as central security force personnel opened fire at a polling booth in Sitalkuchi assembly constituency after some local residents allegedly clashed with them. Another person was shot dead that day outside a polling booth in the same place by unidentified men.
On Monday, Sinha said that the central forces should have killed even more people. “The central forces should be issued a showcause notice asking why they killed four and not eight,” he said. “An 18-year-old boy was shot dead in public at a polling station for doing [supporting] BJP. And their leader is Mamata Banerjee.”
Sinha is contesting the elections from the Habra constituency.
Dilip Ghosh had warned on Sunday that there will be more “Sitalkuchi-like instances” if the “bad boys” of Trinamool Congress do not behave in future. At a rally, Ghosh had said that what happened in Sitalkuchi “was just the beginning”.
“Those who think that the central forces carry guns just for show are mistaken,” he had said. “If anyone takes law into his own hands, he will receive a befitting reply. 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.”
The Election Commission had claimed that the clashes took place after local residents attacked security forces due to a misunderstanding. It said that the forces had no alternative other than to open fire to save their lives and government property.
Banerjee, however, described the Cooch Behar incident as “genocide” and accused Election Commission of suppressing facts related to the deaths.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission on Monday also barred Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours for violating the Model Code of Conduct for allegedly asking voters to attack central security forces and for appealing to Muslims to vote against the BJP. She has staged a dharna in Kolkata against the poll panel’s “undemocratic and unconstitutional decision”.
Elections in West Bengal are being held in eight phases. The results will be announced on May 2.