The state police arrested BJP MPs Nishith Pramanik and Khagen Murmu on Wednesday and stopped the party’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya from visiting violence-hit areas in Malda and Murshidabad districts respectively, police said. The BJP delegations were on their way to visit the railway stations and areas that were hit by violent protests against the new citizenship law.
According to police, the delegations were not allowed to those areas as it might further worsen the situation that have been limping back to normalcy after four days of continuous violence.
“We were on our way to Harishchandrapur to visit the violence-hit areas, but the police did not allow us. It seems that the state government is trying to hide something and hence stopping us. The police is acting at the behest of the Mamata Banerjee government. The state government is shielding those who have indulged in violence. If needed, we will raise this issue in Parliament,” said Pramanik. Police later released both Pramanik and Murmu.
Meanwhile, a BJP delegation led by Vijayvargiya faced protests from a section of people when he tried to visit Nabagram in Murshidabad district. He was greeted with ‘go back’ slogan and shown black flags. Later, the BJP leader tried to visit Mourgram in the same district, but was faced with a huge traffic snarl on the way. Vijayvargiya alleged that the police intentionally created the traffic congestion to stop them.
“We received a call from the district SP saying there is no question of us going to those areas as the situation might worsen if we pay a visit. This is nothing but an attempt to stop us from meeting those people whose houses were ransacked in violence. The police have taken no action against the culprits. It is amusing to see that the police cannot clear traffic snarls. We feel that the snarl was created deliberately to prevent us from going,” said Vijayvargiya.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, meanwhile, termed the incident as “unfortunate”.
“Someone has reported in Malda and Murshidabad that Kailash Vijayvargiya ji was stopped…. it is an unfortunate incident. Such incidents are bound to be serious if it happens with a senior leader or an MP. At the same time, I am pretty confident that the authorities must be vigilantly handling it,” said Dhankhar during a news conference at Raj Bhawan.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while reacting to the BJP delegation being stopped, said the party was trying to foment trouble in those areas. She also wondered why the BJP delegation was only visiting railway stations in Bengal and not other states where similar violence took place over the new citizenship law.
“I am getting information since morning that that two MPs are willing to visit railway stations in the state. If you really want to see railway stations then go to Delhi. They must go to either Amritsar or Bhagalpur. Now when normalcy has returned, they are trying to foment trouble. This is what they do,” Banerjee said while addressing party workers at Dorina Crossing.