A video clip circulated Sunday night purportedly showed TMC’s Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal instructing his partymen to frame a BJP worker in a “ganja case”. Sources said the video was shot during a district committee meeting on Sunday.
“What is the name of that fat lady who owns a garment outlet? She is a BJP worker right? Get her arrested in a ganja case. Get the Burdwan SP on the line now. Just tell me clearly whether you can control her. If you cannot then I will get her arrested,” Mondal is purportedly seen telling party workers. He also allegedly ordered for a party rebel to be arrested.
State Agriculture Minister Ashish Banerjee, who is the MLA from Rampurhat in Birbhum, and vice-president of the district TMC, Rana Singha, were allegedly present at the meeting.
A woman, identified as Sangita Chakraborty, is allegedly the individual referred to in the video clip. Chakraborty — who was earlier with the TMC and later switched to BJP — told reporters, “I am a human rights activist. I do not know what the administration is doing after the way he threatened me during a party meeting. If I can be framed in a case, what will happen to the common citizens of this state? I have lodged a complaint against him (Mondal) at Aushgram police station and the National Human Rights Commission. I have also brought this matter to the notice of his superiors in the ruling party.”
Under the anti-narcotics law, a minimum jail term of six months is awarded for possessing up to 1 kg of cannabis, while the punishment for possessing a larger quantity could lead to prison term of up to 20 years.
The state BJP demanded Mondal’s arrest. “The video is a clear proof of how TMC has turned the police into an organ of the party. He should be arrested immediately. I don’t know whether he smokes ganja but he is speaking like one who is addicted to cannabis. It does not behove a politician to speak in this manner,” said BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha.
“We have been saying this for a long time and now this video has proved how police are being used to attack us. The people of the state will give a befitting reply,” a PTI report quoted BJP state president Dilip Ghosh as saying.
While Mondal was not available for comment, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said, “Why should he receive all the criticism? BJP leaders especially Dilip Ghosh have been repeatedly saying that they will put us behind bars. Does this fall under the decorum of politics? Whoever is saying such things is not doing the right thing. But how can you differentiate Anubrata from Dilip Ghosh? If Anubrata is guilty, then Ghosh is equally guilty.”
In July 2013, Mondal had asked his supporters at a public meeting in Birbhum to hurl bombs at the police and burn down houses of rebel TMC candidates in panchayat elections.
Ahead of the 2016 Assembly election in the district, the Election Commission had taken note of Mandal’s controversial comments and put him under 24-hour surveillance. (PTI INPUTS)
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