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TMC leader Saayoni Ghosh arrested in Tripura ahead of Abhishek rally on Monday

tripura tmc

Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): West Bengal Trinamool Youth Congress president Saayoni Ghosh was arrested on Sunday evening on charges of attempt to murder by the police in Tripura, few hours ahead of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) all India general secretary Abhishek Banerjee’s rally in Agartala.   

TMC leaders say the incidents unfolding throughout the day, which involved interrogation of Saayoni Ghosh leading to her arrest at East Agartala PS and the alleged incidents of stone pelting inside the thana premises on the TMC leaders, is aimed to derail the preparations for the Abhishek rally on Monday by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power in Tripura.   

With the Agartala Municipal Corporation election slated on November 25, attack on the TMC grassroots workers and leaders over the last two days is seen by political observers as a means to upset the election campaign by the opposition. Trinamool leaders are being harassed in Tripura by the administration, alleged the party leaders.

Police reached the hotel where the Trinamool Congress leaders were staying on Saturday, little after midnight, to seize Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev’s car. After the women leaders refused to come down at night, the police on Sunday asked Saayoni to come to the East Agartala PS for questioning. The TMC leaders alleged that they were not informed of the reason for the call to the thana.

As soon as Saayoni and other grassroots leaders reached the police station, the BJP-sheltered miscreants, wearing helmets and carrying sticks, stormed the thana premises, alleged Sushmita Dev, who along with Tripura state convener Subal Bhowmik and TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh accompanied Saayoni to the police station.

It is alleged that the miscreants also vandalised the car of Subal Bhowmik. MP Sushmita Deb claimed that the unrest was aimed at disrupting the meeting. “Tripura police are not neutral. The BJP attacks on the grassroots workers have been going on for the last two days of our campaign. The BJP even tried to create unrest before the meeting of Abhishek Banerjee by using the police,” said Dev.

Earlier in the day, Dev at the Mahila Police Station, said, “It is clear that the Tripura police are favouring the BJP in this coming election. Tomorrow we have a rally, after Abhishek Banerjee reaches here. This incident is to derail that process.”

Kunal Ghosh, who spoke to SDPO sadar Ramesh Yadav at the thana, said, “The BJP is involving the police to derail our campaign process. Our Tripura leaders are sitting in the police station leaving all work aside.”  

Sushmita Dev later alleged, “The weapons the BJP workers are carrying proves they came prepared. This is a conspiracy. After bringing us to the thana, they gherao us and hurt our workers. They arrested Saayoni under Section 307 of IPC. It is rubbish. We have filed more than 11 FIRs. Have they made any arrests till now? We want to know who hatched the conspiracy to hurt us after calling us to the police station. We will file an FIR in the case.”

Saayoni Ghosh before her arrest said, “It is a shame that democracy is in shambles in Tripura. The cops called us here and then we were beaten up, even the police personnel are not spared by the BJP goons.”

BJP Tripura spokesperson Navendu Bhattacharjee on the arrest said, “She has a hit-and-run case against her on Saturday, where a BJP worker was hurt. There is also a case of using unparliamentary language against her. Bengal minister Firhad Hakim in Agartala said that he will finish BJP in a few minutes and if one man is hurt in Tripura, five BJP men will be hurt in Bengal. Our workers were naturally agitated and they showed their dissent at East Agartala thana.”