Updated: April 23, 2022 8:03:02 am
The question of the political allegiance of one of the main accused of violence in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, Mohammad Ansar, is now roiling politics in West Bengal.
In Delhi, both the BJP and Aam Aadmi Party have submitted “evidence” to show Ansar’s proximity to the other side. Now the Trinamool Congress and BJP are doing the same in Bengal. Ansar’s name figured in the political slugfest between the two bitter rivals the same day as a TMC all-women “fact-finding” team visited Jahangirpuri. They were stopped by police from reaching the spot.
The Delhi Police had arrested Ansar a day after the violence, on April 17, calling him one of the key conspirators in what had happened. A resident of Jahangirpuri, Ansar belongs originally to Bengal and is an accused in several cases. His relatives belong to East Midnapore.
On Friday morning, BJP co-incharge of West Bengal and its IT Cell chief Amit Malaviya claimed that last year Ansar had attacked the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly and TMC-turned-BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.
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Accusing the TMC delegation in Jahangirpuri of trying to “provide cover to the rioters”, Malaviya said: “Ansar Sheikh, arrested for murderous assault, had also attacked the BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in Haldia, when he was on his way to collect his election certificate after defeating Mamata Banerjee from Nandigram (in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections).” He shared a purported video of the incident.
Malaviya was immediately contradicted by West Bengal Minister of State for Information and Cultural Affairs Indranil Sen, who accused the BJP of “sheltering” Ansar. Sharing photos purportedly showing Ansar with several BJP leaders during the Bengal Assembly election campaign, Sen tweeted that Malaviya “cannot stop trying to please the Mo-Shah (Narendra Modi-Amit Shah) duo by coming up with garbage!”
TMC secretary general and state minister Partha Chatterjee also shared the same photographers and tweeted: “Here, we see how Ansar has been closely associated with @BJP4India.”
Senior TMC leader Samir Chakraborty posted: “Ansar is a @BJP4India leader. And BJP is a party that is known to spread hate among people, create chaos and promote violence.”
Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha said the allegations were “completely baseless”. “If someone meets somebody, then they do not become close. The TMC planned to share these misleading tweets to malign our party’s image. We believe the TMC has connections with the key conspirator. They are doing this to divert attention.”
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