Following Ghosh's arrest, more than 15 TMC MPs flew from Kolkata to Delhi on Sunday night to meet Home Minister Amit Shah to protest alleged police excesses in Tripura.
Tripura Police on Sunday arrested actor-turned TMC leader Saayoni Ghosh after she allegedly disrupted a meeting of state Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb by shouting “Khela hobe” (we will play) on Saturday night. She has been arrested on charges of promoting enmity between people, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy.
The arrest and an alleged attack on TMC workers by unknown persons whom the Trinamool Congress believes to be BJP supporters happened barely 24 hours before the Mamata Banerjee-led party’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee is slated to reach Agartala to “stand beside attacked party workers.”
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Following Ghosh’s arrest, more than 15 TMC MPs flew from Kolkata to Delhi on Sunday night to meet Home Minister Amit Shah to protest alleged police excesses in Tripura. The party said its members will sit on dharna in the national capital today morning.
The Trinamool Congress is locked in a charged political battle in trying to gain a foothold in the Northeasern state ahead of the 2023 assembly elections. As a prelude it plans to contest the civic polls to be held on November 25.
Sub-divisional Police Officer (Sadar) Ramesh Yadav said Ghosh was arrested under IPC Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 153A (promoting disharmony between two groups) for her comments against the chief minister. Yadav also said some persons who were with her allegedly threw stones at a street corner meeting which was being addressed by the chief minister on Saturday night.
A police official, who did not want to be named, said a BJP worker lodged a complaint alleging that Ghosh had reached the spot where the meeting was being held and shouted “Khela hobey” and claimed that there were not even 50 people in the gathering.
“Khela hobey” is a slogan used by the TMC during the assembly election in West Bengal held in March-April this year. Ghosh was detained for questioning in a police station and arrested later.
TMC leaders alleged that their workers were also roughed up by BJP supporters outside the East Agartala Women’s police station, a charge denied by the saffron party. “Our National Gen Secy Shri @abhishekaitc will reach Tripura tomorrow morning to stand beside our workers who were BRUTALLY ATTACKED by BJP goons. Permission to land today was denied. An autocrat is running the show in Tripura and we will fight tooth & nail to end this torture!” the party said in a Twitter post.
The TMC had earlier said Banerjee, in a change of the scheduled programme, will reach Agartala on Sunday itself. Abhishek Banerjee in a tweet accused the BJP government in the North-eastern state of disregarding Supreme Court orders on the rights of political parties to hold peaceful programmes.
“@BjpBiplab has become so UNABASHEDLY BRAZEN that now even SUPREME COURT ORDERS DOESN’T SEEM TO BOTHER HIM. He has repeatedly sent goons to attack our supporters & our female candidates instead of ensuring their safety! DEMOCRACY BEING MOCKED under @BJP4Tripura,” Banerjee said in the Twitter post, attaching a video of the alleged attack of Sunday morning.
The Supreme Court recently directed Tripura police to ensure that no political party is prevented from exercising their rights in accordance with the law for campaigning in a peaceful manner.
Police said some unidentified miscreants attacked a group of people who gathered near the police station during the questioning of Ghosh, but also claimed no one was injured. However TMC officials claimed the attackers were affiliated to the ruling BJP and their workers sustained severe injuries.