TMC leaders alleged that their workers were also roughed up by BJP supporters outside the East Agartala Women’s police station
Tripura police on Sunday detained West Bengal Trinamool Congress leader Sayani Ghosh for questioning following a complaint by a ruling BJP worker that she had disturbed a street corner meeting of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Saturday night, according to an official.
Ms Ghosh, the youth unit secretary of TMC West Bengal, was detained a day before a planned visit by the party’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee after being called in for questioning in a police station.
A police official, who did not want to be named, said a BJP worker lodged a complaint that when a street corner gathering was being addressed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Saturday night, Ms Ghosh reached there and shouted “Khela hobey” (game will happen) and claimed that there were not even 50 people in the gathering.
“Khela hobey” is a slogan used by the TMC during the assembly election in West Bengal held in March-April this year.
TMC leaders alleged that their workers were also roughed up by BJP supporters outside the East Agartala Women’s police station, a charge denied by the saffron party.
Abhishek Banerjee in a tweet accused the BJP government in the North-eastern State of disregarding Supreme Court orders on the rights of political parties to hold peaceful programmes.
“@BjpBiplab has become so UNABASHEDLY BRAZEN that now even SUPREME COURT ORDERS DOESN’T SEEM TO BOTHER HIM.
“He has repeatedly sent goons to attack our supporters & our female candidates instead of ensuring their safety! DEMOCRACY BEING MOCKED under @BJP4Tripura,” Mr Banerjee said in the Twitter post, attaching a video of the alleged attack of Sunday morning.
The Supreme Court recently directed Tripura police to ensure that no political party is prevented from exercising their rights in accordance with the law for campaigning in a peaceful manner.
Police said some unidentified miscreants attacked a group of people who gathered near the police station during the questioning of Mr Ghosh, but no one was injured.
The TMC is contesting the Tripura civic polls to be held on November 25. The ruling BJP has already won 112 out of 334 seats uncontested across 20 urban local bodies including Agartala Municipal Corporation. This will be the first civic election that the BJP will face after coming to power in 2018.
The Mamata Banerjee-led party is trying to gain a foothold in the State ahead of the 2023 assembly elections.
TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev claimed that BJP sheltered goons attacked the leaders and workers of the party on the premises of the police station after Mr Ghosh reached there.
“Our candidates were beaten up; their houses vandalized and though complaints were filed, no action was taken. Police here are acting in a one-sided manner,” she told reporters.
TMC West Bengal secretary Kunal Ghosh said if this is what is democracy in Tripura, “we would recommend to our leaders to do the same thing (to the BJP) in West Bengal”.
Tripura BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya denied the allegation, saying the saffron party workers did not ever attack anyone of the TMC as the party does not consider it as a political opponent to reckon with.