TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in Tripura for civic poll campaign; protests in Bengal over Saayoni Ghosh’s arrest

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By PTI

AGARTALA: TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee arrived in Tripura on Monday to take part in a campaign for civic elections, a day after the party’s youth leader, Saayoni Ghosh, was arrested for allegedly disrupting a meeting that was being held by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

Earlier in the day, a suspicious bag at the Agartala airport had triggered a bomb scare, just before Banerjee’s arrival.

It was later moved to a cooling pit.

Banerjee is scheduled to hold campaigns for party candidates contesting the civic elections, to be held on November 25.

Condemning the “attack” on TMC supporters and activists at a police station here on Sunday, Banerjee alleged that the law and order has completely collapsed in the state.

“The way the BJP goons attacked our supporters and activists at a police station only proves that a jungle rule is prevailing in the state. The ruling BJP in Tripura is using its police for narrow political gains, but this would not last long. We will fight them…The government led by Biplab Deb will not be able to silence the TMC,” Banerjee told reporters.

Ghosh, an actor-turned-TMC leader, was on Sunday arrested on charges of promoting enmity between people and attempt to murder after she allegedly raised ‘khela hobe’ slogan to “disrupt” the Tripura CM’s street corner meeting.

Some people accompanying her apparently hurled stones at those attending the meeting.

The Trinamool Youth Congress president is likely to be produced before a court here during the day.

Several TMC supporters who had gathered out the police station, where Ghosh was taken to after arrest, also reportedly came under attack on Sunday.

Banerjee in a tweet accused the BJP government in the northeastern 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,” Banerjee said in the Twitter post.

The Supreme Court has recently asked the Tripura government to ensure that no political party in the fray for the coming local body elections “is prevented from pursuing its electoral rights in accordance with law, and from campaigning in a peaceful and orderly manner”.

Meanwhile, taking exception to Ghosh’s arrest, protesters in West Bengal, where the TMC is in power, pasted pictures of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee on the walls of BJP headquarters in Kolkata on Monday morning.

Activists of the Mamata Banerjee-led party also demonstrated outside the saffron camp’s office before setting out on a march in the heart of Kolkata.

Similar agitations were witnessed in other parts of Bengal.

One of the TMC leaders, who took part in the protest, said his party members wanted to convey to the BJP that if they wanted they could take control of the saffron camp office.

“By pasting pictures of Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee on the walls of BJP office, we have proved that if the Trinamool wanted, it could take over the office. But we will not do that. The TMC believes in upholding democracy,” he added.

Responding to him, BJP leader Jai Prakash Majumder said, “Yes, that possibility exists. Earlier, the police was sent to the office and now hooligans.”

Earlier, shortly before the TMC general secretary arrival in Agartala, an unattended bag lying at Maharaja Bir Bikram airport had triggered a bomb scare.

The area was immediately cordoned off and evacuated by the CISF.

An official at the airport said CCTV footages have shown that the bag was left at the airport by a passenger who arrived from Kolkata.

Bomb Threat Assessment Committee has declared it as a “non-specific threat” and standard operating procedures were being carried out, he said.

Since passengers from Kolkata arrived here after a security clearance, chance of any bomb threat was remote, the official said, adding that the bag, however, has been shifted to a cooling pit.

Efforts are underway to trace the passenger who left the bag at the airport, he added.



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