After the damage to public property in Thursday’s mega rallies by BJP, proceeding towards the state secretariat Nabanna, Kolkata Police has filed an FIR against 24 persons which include BJP national secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and MPs Arjun Singh, Locket Chatterjee. Other leaders named in the FIR include Bharati Ghosh, Jayprakash Majumdar and Rakesh Singh. The charges are primarily for unlawful assembly and law violation.
The charges against BJP leaders and other supporters are under sections 143/147/149/332/353/283 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with 51(b) of Disaster Management Act and 3 of Prevention of Disruption to Public Property(PDPP) Act of IPC.
BJP leader Dilip Ghosh reacted against the FIRs saying the Police is working at the behest of the ruing Trinamool Congress(TMC) administration in the State. “Police is working like TMC cadre. It can be understood that the Chief Minister is scared, hence she is using the Police as her cadre. The cases lodged against us is also shameful. Not a way in democracy, we will fight legally," said Dilip Ghosh.
Ghosh also went on to defend a BJP leader Balwinder Singh, who was seen in videos circulated on social media being dragged by the Police leading to his turban falling off. Singh was found with a loaded pistol at Howrah maidan where one of the four rallies culminated. There was tear gas, water canons sprayed and police resorting to lathicharge to disperse the crowds.
“Balwinder was our private security. He had a licence. Manish Shukla had liscense too, but it was cancelled. Then he was shot. Private security can be present with a gun," added Ghosh, referring to Manish Shukla, the BJP leader killed earlier this week in Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district.
A statement was released by state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandhopadhyay on Thursday said that the rallies were denied permission due to the COVID-19 pandemic as per the National Disaster Management Act. “The Police showed restraint despite violent provocations. We have recovered firearms. Several policemen have been injured.” The statement also mentions that a BJP supporter was found with a firearm during the rally.
The battle between both BJP and TMC is getting hotter as each is trying to prove the other wrong. While BJP is pointing fingers at the state administration for worsening law and order situation and how their supporters were unfairly targeted, the TMC says the saffron party violated several norms.