Kolkata: A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Birbhum district has asked cadres to shoot workers from opponent parties to silence them in the same way that forest officers deal with rogue elephants.
While he did not name any particular political party, Birbhum district president Shyamapada Mondal's advice to party workers appeared to be targeted towards cadres of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Addressing a public meet on Saturday, Mondal said, "I am sure you know what to do with violent elephants. You must have seen wildlife officers using tranquilisers to control them and if that does not work, they shoot them. I would like to tell all of you to use similar practices to silence them."
Mondal was speaking at a rally in Birbhum district in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
He said workers of the ruling camp were targeting BJP cadres on a daily basis and the local police, instead of taking proper action, arrested BJP workers in false cases. “It’s time to free Bengal from TMC and it is only possible if we fight against them fearlessly,” he added.
Mondal’s remarks were condemned by senior Trinamool Congress leader and minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya.
“What else would you expect from leaders of a party like the BJP?" she asked. Their party president, Dilip Ghosh, is famous for making such comments. His party leaders are only following his footsteps. They think people will welcome them for making such comments.”
“We all know who are hiring people from other states to create trouble in Bengal. This needs no further explanation. People of Bengal will soon give them a befitting reply,” Bhattacharya said.
Ghosh had recently said anti-CAA protesters should be “shot like dogs” the way they are being in some BJP-ruled states. His statement was criticised by party colleague and central minister Babul Supriyo. Soon after, Ghosh was made the president for another three terms.
Last year, he had warned a senior police officer against harassing his party workers. He told the officer from a public gathering at Mecheda in East Midnapore that no one will be able to trace the latter’s body and his family members would not be able to perform his last rites.
He had also warned of ‘stripping’ policemen of their uniform if the BJP came to power in the state for allegedly filing false cases complaints against party workers.