BJP's West Bengal unit president Sukanta Majumdar was arrested on Saturday when he was leading party workers in a protest rally in the south Kolkata's Hazra area, near Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's residence. Majumdar was scheduled to address the rally in Hazra over alleged corruption in the TMC government of the state but was taken into custody by the police before he could reach there.
"It was a preventive arrest," a senior police officer said. Soon, scores of BJP members gathered outside Kolkata's Police headquarters, Lalbazar, in the central part of the city, demanding Majumdar's immediate release.
Shouting slogans against the ruling Trinamool Congress, the protesting BJP members burnt tyres, bringing the traffic in the congested area to a standstill. A while later, police evicted them and took them to the Lalbazar central lock-up. Majumdar was also released after some time, the police officer said.
"Protests against the corrupt TMC government are becoming mass movements in West Bengal. It seems that they are afraid of these protests and that is why they arrested Sukanta Majumdar," state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said. TMC MP Santanu Sen accused the BJP of trying to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the state.
The protest rally was organised in Hazara, a few hundred meters away from the chief minister’s Kalighat residence, amid the arrest of minister Partha Chatterjee in the cash for school jobs scam. Crores of rupees in cash were found at apartments linked to Chatterjee, and besides gold believed to be in kilogram, documents of properties, and foreign exchange were recovered by the Enforcement Directorate, forcing the TMC to suspend him and take away his ministerial portfolios.