The Hooghly BJP youth wing chief and two other party workers were arrested on Thursday for allegedly raising “Desh ke gaddaro ko goli maaro…” (shoot the traitors) slogans at a party rally in Chandannagar on Wednesday.
“Three BJP activists, including Hooghly district youth wing chief Suresh Sahu, have been arrested,” said an officer from Chandannagar police.
The other two arrested workers have been identified as Prabhat Gupta, president of the Bandel Mandal Youth Front, and Robin Ghosh, the convener of the BJP’s health cell.
The arrested workers had allegedly shouted the provocative slogan in the rally led by party leader Suvendu Adhikari.
In a counter rally, the TMC had taken out a peace march from Tollygunge to Hazra where its workers also allegedly mouthed “Bengal ke gaddaro ko….” (shoot the traitors of Bengal) slogans.
According to the police, they took the suo moto congnisance of the slogans raised in the BJP rally after verifying videos allegedly showing some workers instigating people.
Adhikari had led the rally from Taldanga in Chandannagar to Jyoti More. Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta, Hooghly MP Locket Chatterjee, Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh and other local BJP leaders also joined the rally. The arrested accused were allegedly following the truck carrying the BJP leaders.
Soon after the Chandannagar incident, the BJP had shared a video on their official Twitter handle allegedly showing TMC workers raising the slogan. Reacting to this, state Urban Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim on Thursday said, “The party doesn’t support such slogans. There are some over-enthusiastic young supporters in every rally. It is a BJP slogan that a Central minister had raised. We have strong feeling that they were not TMC workers but outsiders.”
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Thursday questioned police action against the party workers. “TMC’s ‘goli maro, bomb maro…’ is accepted but if an over enthusiast BJP worker says something, he is picked up at 2:30 am at midnight,” he said.
“The TMC called it ‘peace rally’, but it witnessed rampant vandalism and tearing of BJP flags and posters. Slogans such as ‘Goli maro…’ were heard in their ‘peace rally’ in South Kolkata. Is this Pishi’s definition of ‘peace’? This is how the TMC is letting down the City of Joy,” the BJP state unit tweeted.
TMC senior leader Subrata Mukherjee said, “If any TMC worker has raised any such slogan, he will be punished.”
TMC MP Saugata Roy said, “The issue is not about the BJP or the TMC. The police have taken action where they felt necessary. We all know BJP’s Anurag Thakur has also raised this slogan. Why didn’t the BJP arrest him then.”