West Bengal cops stop LoP Suvendu Adhikari from visiting violence-hit Howrah
A senior police officer said that the BJP leader was detained as a precautionary measure, as his visit could have caused a law and order issue.
The Opposition BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress are headed for yet another tussle after the West Bengal Police blocked Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari from visiting parts of the violence-hit Howrah district where prohibitory orders have been imposed. The Nandigram MLA has said that he would move the court if he is stopped by the police.
Suvendu and his security entourage were stopped by a police team at Radharani More in Tamluk. A senior police officer said that the BJP leader was detained as a precautionary measure, as his visit could have caused a law and order issue.
Earlier in the day, the BJP is crying foul after a letter from the officer-in-charge of Kanthi Police Station at Suvendu's hometown in Purba Medinipur district asked him to cancel his visit. The letter cited concerns over his security if he were to visit parts of Howrah where Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed.
However, the Leader of the Opposition was adamant. Suvendu said he would visit the party offices in Howrah district that were ransacked, without violating the prohibitory orders.
"I will move the court on Monday if the police stops me. How can the Leader of the Opposition be stopped from visiting a troubled area," Adhikari asked before leaving for Howrah.
The row over Suvendu's visit comes a day after state BJP unit chief Sukanta Majumdar was detained while heading towards Howrah district. He was released later.
Several parts of Howrah district, including Uluberia, Panchla and Domjur, had witnessed protests on Friday over controversial remarks by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled leader Naveen Jindal on Prophet Mohammad.
Mobs resorted to stone-pelting, set ablaze police vehicles and damaged public property during violent protests and clashes with the law enforcers in the district. Violent protests were also reported on Saturday in Panchla. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped till June 15 and internet services have been suspended in the entire district till June 13.
BJP's West Bengal co-in charge Amit Malviya took to Twitter to post that after detaining BJP WB President Sukanta Majumdar, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was now ensuring that LoP Suvendu Adhikari is not able to visit Howrah.
Mamata's entire focus is on the opposition, not on rampaging 'Dudhel Gais' (milch cows), as she calls them, he said.
Responding to the BJP's charges, senior TMC leader Kunal Ghosh claimed that Adhikari wanted to visit Howrah with the intention of stoking trouble.
"Why does he want to visit areas where Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed? He is going there to create trouble. The BJP wants to destroy the peace in the state," he said.
Image: Flames and smoke rise from a vehicle on fire, that was allegedly set ablaze by miscreants during a protest over controversial remarks made by two now-suspended BJP leaders about Prophet Mohammad, in Howrah, Friday, June 10, 2022. Photograph: PTI Photo