North Dinajpur BJP president Shankar Chakraborty was arrested on Sunday, hours after he addressed a public meeting in the violence-hit Daribhit area, where he called on people to “retaliate” against the police and “tie them to trees”.
Two men had died of bullet injuries on the grounds of Daribhit high school after a clash between police and local residents on September 20 over the appointment of teachers. Polytechnic college student Rajesh Sarkar and Islampur college student Tapan Burman — both 19 years old and former students of Daribhit high school — died on September 20 and 21 respectively.
“If policemen come here, tie them to a tree. If policemen are thirsty and ask for drinking water, give water to the dogs but not to them. If you see injured policemen on the road, take injured cows and buffaloes to hospital but not them. If you see children of policemen lying on the road, do not take them to hospital. Do not allow police to enter this area. Socially boycott the police,” Chakraborty had told people during the meeting.
“Keep sticks, bamboo poles ready and women should have bontis ready. Thwart the police,” Chakraborty added.
Speaking to mediapersons later, Chakraborty defended his remarks, saying, “Policemen killed innocent youths here. A day after when we called a bandh in the district, they came to my party office and threatened to kill me. Policemen are still picking up innocent villagers and giving them false cases. That is why is said what I said.”
Personnel of Karandighi police station arrested Chakraborty at around 6.30 pm. He is being charged with inciting violence and will be produced in court on Monday.
ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma said, “We have seen the video of the speech and legal action will be taken against the person concerned. Having a microphone in one’s hand does not permit them to say anything.”
Reacting to the arrest, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the police was adding fuel to the fire.
“It the job of the court to decide whether our leader is guilty or not… In so many cases where Trinamool workers and leaders are involved, police do not even register a case,” he said.
When asked about the matter, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “This is BJP’s culture. They have imported this culture from outside Bengal. What can I say?”