Kolkata, July 8 (IANS) A team of three BJP MPs en route to West Bengal’s communal violence-hit North 24 Parganas were stopped and detained by police while a BJP delegation met Governor K.N. Tripathi to demand imposition of President’s Rule in the state.
A heated argument broke out between police and the three Bharatiya Janata Party members of Parliament — Meenakshi Lekhi, Om Mathur, and Satyapal Singh — sent by party chief Amit Shah to report on the situation as they were stopped at Michaelnagar on the outskirts of Basirhat.
When police said there could be a problem if they proceeded further, Mathur asked: “Kis baat ki samasya ho sakti hai? (What kind of problem can occur?) Hum saansad hain pata hai aapko? (We are MPs, do you know that?) Privilege motion aa jaayega to aap mar jaaoge (if a privilege motion is slapped then you will be doomed).”
“So are you accepting there is problem ahead in Basirhat?” posed Lekhi amid the altercation.
“We know the law. We are MPs. We have certain privileges. So, if you stop us like that, you may be in trouble tomorrow,” cautioned Singh.
Even as police insisted on their cooperation, the MPs suggested they will take along police. “Let us go with you,” said Mathur.
Lashing out at the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government, Lekhi said: “There was no Section 144 (of Criminal Procedure Code) imposed in the area; no papers were shown to us as to why we were detained when we hadn’t committed any offence.”
“Truth won’t change whatever the Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) says. A BJP worker who has been stabbed (in the communal violence) is hospitalised,” Lekhi told reporters there.
Lekhi said: “It is very apparent that the administration is hiding the truth and reality — that the ground situation is grim and the people are actually feeling very insecure. To hide those facts, they have arranged a preventive kind of detention.
On one side they are saying everything is perfect and law and order is not an issue, on the other they have brought us here (in detention) which is very clear.”
Later in the day a BJP delegation met Tripathi to demand President’s Rule in the state.
“We want the Centre to intervene immediately and impose the President’s Rule. There is complete breakdown of law and order in the state,” Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh told reporters.
The party also held a protest march in the city to demand the arrest of those involved in the violence.
Violence erupted between two communities at Baduria on July 3 night over a Facebook post by a youth.
He was arrested, and in the ensuing violence mobs attacked shops and houses, torched vehicles, including those of the police, and put up road blockades. Several police personnel sustained injuries.