Days after railway stations were targeted by anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters in West Bengal, Murshidabad police arrested six people for allegedly “trying to recreate such scenes of violence, wearing lungi and skull cap at Lalbagh railway station” in the district on Thursday.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also highlighted the matter during her press conference following her protest rally at Park Circus, a minority-dominated area in Kolkata, Friday. “I got to know from a journalist that people from other communities donning lungi and skull caps were making a video of an attack at (a) railway station. So, I thought to cross-check and was informed (by police) that one of them was a BJP worker and he, along with others, were trying to attack the railway property wearing skull caps. Local people got suspicious and they informed police about it. Police found it to be true and picked them up. In this incident too, law will take its course,” she said.
Murshidabad Superintendent of Police Mukesh Kumar confirmed to The Indian Express that six persons were arrested for trying to spread hatred in the society. “Two of them have been remanded in police custody,” Kumar said.
As per police sources, one of the accused has been identified as Abhishek Sarkar (21), however, they didn’t comment on the political affiliation of the accused persons.
While the CM claimed “the boy is a BJP worker”, the party leaders denied the allegations.
Gouri Shankar Ghosh, BJP’s District president of Murshidabad South, denied having any worker named Abhishek Sarkar in the party. “No BJP worker or supporter has any hand in any type of violence in my area. Why it has to be BJP wherever someone is arrested (in West Bengal). We want peace in Murshidabad. Violence of this level cannot be tolerated. The worst part of present situation is that the truth is being distorted as per people’s convenience,” he said.
Another BJP leader from Murshidabad North claimed it to be a “false case and propaganda to malign the party’s image”.
Protesters against the amended Citizenship Act had ransacked and set railway properties on fire in West Bengal last week. Public property worth crores of rupees have either been destroyed or looted in Murshidabad.
Last Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said those indulging in arson “can be identified by their clothes”. A day later, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the statement saying, “BJP’s paid people” were behind the violence.
Later on Tuesday, BJP state president and Medinipur MP Dilip Ghosh said lungi-clad people had made their way to Bengal from Bangladesh and were creating disturbances in the state.
Several arrest have been made so far from the Murshidabad district. “As many as 998 people have been arrested from the district in the last four days,” said SP Kumar.
Police, however, said that the situation in the district has been brought under control.