Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday expressed shock after reports emerged that six men, locally known to be BJP supporters, in Murshidabad district had attacked a Sealdah-bound trial engine wearing ‘lungi’ and ‘skullcap’ to malign the image of a particular community.
Addressing a press conference, Banerjee said, “Someone told me that a few BJP supporters wore ‘lungi’ and skullcaps and attacked a train in Murshidabad. They also shot a video. I was shocked. I called up the Murshidabad police to enquire about it. They told me it’s a fact. You can now imagine how they (BJP leaders) are adding fuel to the fire to burn Bengal.”
“I was told by the district police officer people from one community committed this crime to mislead policemen about another community. All the youths were arrested. It is unfortunate that they are stooping to such low-level politics,” she said.
On December 18, the six men known as BJP supporters were arrested in Murshidabad for throwing stones at a train engine plying on the Sealdah-Lalgola line in ‘lungi’ and ‘skullcap’. Local villagers reportedly became suspicious when they saw the youths changing their clothes near the railway tracks, following which they alerted the local police.
During interrogation at Berhampore police station, the men confessed that they had changed their clothes and wore skullcaps to make a video for their YouTube channel.
“When we asked for details of their YouTube channel, they failed to provide us any detail. Later, we came to know that they don’t have any such channel,” Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad District, Mukesh, said.
However, BJP district president Gouri Sankar Ghosh said the arrested men had nothing to do with his party. “None of them are our supporters. It’s false.”
On Thursday, the chief minister had said the BJP is buying skullcaps for its workers to put blame on a particular community while damaging government properties.
A few days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said during a rally that those committing violence could be identified from their clothes.
When asked about her remarks on referendum monitored by the United Nations on the citizenship issue, Banerjee said she only wanted an opinion from Indian experts and from human rights organisations under the UN’s watch to decide the fate of the CAA and NRC.
The Trinamool Congress supremo will again hit the streets in protest against the amended Citizenship Act on Monday. Banerjee has urged leaders from all non-BJP parties, students, members of civil societies and citizens of Bengal to join the rally to raise their voice against the Act.
She said, “Our protest will continue and on December 23, rallies will be organised in every sub-division and in December 24 in Kolkata. On December 26, 27, 28 (2019) and January 1, 2020, similar rallies will be organised in Kolkata (only by TMC trade unions), Singur in Hooghly, in all the assembly constituencies and in all the booths, respectively.”
She also appealed to Modi to roll back the CAA and proposed implementation of the NRC. “I request the PM to intervene and resolve the nationwide crisis due to the issue,” she said.