Seven suspects arrested for attack on JP Nadda's convoy; Bengal governor tells Mamata not to 'play with fire'

Meanwhile, the Union home ministry has summoned West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and DGP Virendra over the attack on the BJP president

FP Staff December 11, 2020 17:01:52 IST
Seven suspects arrested for attack on JP Nadda's convoy; Bengal governor tells Mamata not to 'play with fire'

File image of Mamata Banerjee. Image courtesy News18

Seven people were arrested on Friday in connection to the attack on BJP president JP Nadda in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district. Meanwhile, the Union home ministry has summoned West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and DGP over the incident.

News agency PTI quoted police officials as saying that four people were arrested from the Falta area, and three from the Usthi police station area, in the South 24 Parganas district.

All seven of them were booked under various sections of the IPC for rioting, obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions and other offences.

Nadda's convoy was pelted with stones on Thursday morning in the Sirakol in Diamond Harbour area in South 24 Parganas district, where he had gone to address a rally.

Several BJP leaders including party national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya suffered injuries, sources in BJP claimed. Two suo moto cases were subsequently lodged against unknown people for carrying out the attack.

MHA summons West Bengal chief secy, DGP

The MHA's summons came after West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar submitted a report on the incident to the Centre. Dhankhar was asked to submit a report following the attack on Nadda's convoy.

West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Director General of Police (DGP) Virendra have been called by the home ministry, PTI reported.

The chief secretary and DGP are expected to be asked to explain the law and order situation in West Bengal, the steps taken to prevent political violence and other crimes in the state.

PTI also reported that the MHA is yet to receive a report from the state government on the "serious security lapses" during Nadda's two-day visit to the state.

However, the TMC hit out at the MHA for summoning West Bengal chief secretary and police chief and accused the saffron party of trying to create a situation where the Centre can interfere in matters related to states.

Senior TMC MPs Saugata Roy and Kalyan Banerjee alleged that Nadda's convoy had "convicted criminals and goons" who carried weapons with the malafide intention of instigating violence.

"What the central government is doing by sending a letter (seeking report) from the state government is unconstitutional. The MHA summoning the chief secretary and DGP is unacceptable.

"The BJP and the central government are trying to create a situation where they can interfere with the federal structure," Banerjee told a press conference.

Provocative speeches by BJP state president Dilip Ghosh are leading to a "vicious" situation, he said, and claimed that Nadda was accompanied by "convicted criminals and armed men belonging to the BJP".

Don't play with fire, Jagdeep Dhankar tells Mamata

Both the BJP and Dhankar slammed the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal, claiming the law and order situation in the state is "deteriorating".

"I have sent my report to the Central Government whose contents cannot be shared on account of propriety," he told a press conference at Raj Bhawan on Friday morning.

He alleged the violators of law in Bengal have the protection of police and administration and any resistance by the Opposition is quelled.

"The governor is not a post office... he will not fidddle around in Raj Bhawan when human rights are being violated," he said, and asserted "the governor will vindicate his oath, come what may".

It is the duty of the governor to protect the Constitution, he added.

Dhankhar said the chief minister is also under constitutional obligation and has to act in accordance with the Constitution.

Referring to Banerjee's remarks calling the BJP a party of outsiders, Dhankhar said, the citizenship of India is one and insider-outsider politics should stop.

A section of bureaucrats, he also alleged, are acting as "political servants" despite getting paid from state exchequer.

"Accountability will be enforced," he said, and asked Banerjee "not to play with fire".

"The law and order situation in the state has been worsening with each passing day. Despite cautioning the chief minister and the administration nothing has happened," he said.

Terming the attack on Nadda's convoy on Thursday as most "unfortunate and a slur on democracy", he said, "The violators of law in Bengal have protection of police and administration".

"Present political scenario in West Bengal is that any Opposition is ruthlessly suppressed... the human rights were in flames yesterday".

Describing Banerjee's comments on the attack on Nadda's convoy as "most unfortunate", he also said "I take a very serious note of the statement that emanated from the honourable chief minister. How can a responsible chief minister, believing in rule of law... Constitution, believing in Bengali culture talk the way she did."

Banerjee had uttered distorted versions of the BJP chief's surname at a rally in Kolkata on Thursday and termed the attack on his convoy a "staged act".

Dhankhar also said the "non-responsive" stance of the chief minister towards the Raj Bhawan is an indication that governance is not in accordance with the Constitution.

Underlining that distancing of governance from the rule of law cannot be accepted in democracy, he said, "Unconstitutional parameters is at an alarming level making it extremely difficult for me to conclude that governance in the state is according to the constitution."

With inputs from PTI

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