A day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stopped her convoy and confronted people chanting Jai Shri Ram while she was passing through Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district, the BJP claimed that 10 of its workers were arrested. The police, however, claim that no arrests were made in connection with the incident.
Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, while speaking to reporters, said, “Mamata Banerjee is speaking in a foul language. She is abusing those mouthing the slogan. We never seen people getting arrested for chanting Jai Shri Ram. It seems that she is suffering from frustration. Ten people have been arrested. Earlier, three people were arrested in a similar case. We hope that they will be released like last time. Today, saying Jai Shri Ram is viewed as a grave crime in Bengal,” he said.
The incident occurred on Thursday when Mamata was on her way to Naihati to address a dharna. In videos that surfaced on social media, the CM can be seen stopping her convoy when she heard the chants. She then gets out of the car and confronts those assembled. “What do you think of yourself? You come from other states, stay here, and abuse us? I will not tolerate this. How dare you abuse me? All of your names and details will be noted down,” she was heard saying in the video.
She is also seen asking the police to arrest those who chanted the slogan.
Later, while speaking at Naihati, Mamata made a reference of the incident during her speech.
The Indian Express spoke to one of the youngsters who claimed to have spent the night in the Jagaddal police station. “I was sleeping with some friends in an open field in Bhatpara. Around 10.30 pm, some police officials came and started picking up locals. I and my friend Ashok Mahoto and a few others were taken to local police station. Today, we were released after they made us sign on a paper,” said Basudev Choudhuri.
A man who claimed to have witnessed the chanting said, “I saw people raising slogans like Jai Shri Ram to instigate her. She in return, abused them and asked the police to trace those boys and instructed them to take action against them.”
The police however, denied any such arrests and said no action was taken against anyone in connection with the incident.
“We didn’t arrest or detain anyone. This is bogus information being spread,” Tanmoy Roy Choudhury, Commissioner of Police, Barrackpore Police Commissionerate told The Indian Express.
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