The TMC on Monday urged the Election Commission to take strict action against BJP leaders who allegedly made inflammatory remarks over the Cooch Behar firing incident that claimed the lives of ”four unarmed civilians”, shortly before the poll panel barred party supremo Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours. In a letter to West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab, the party said several BJP leaders, including party state Dilip Ghosh, were ”instigating” violence with their warnings of more Cooch Behar-like episodes.
Amid the polling for the fourth phase of assembly elections on Saturday, four persons were killed in Sitalkuchi area of Cooch Behar when CISF personnel opened fire allegedly after coming under attack from locals who had ”attempted to snatch their rifles”. Citing the first instance, the letter said, ”On April 11, 2021, at a rally in Baranagar, Dilip Ghosh said people have seen what happened at Sitalkuchi and warned that if anyone oversteps boundary, the incident of Sitalkuchi will be repeated. An official complaint has already been lodged with the CEO.” The letter, signed by TMC MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’Brien, also has mention of similar remarks made by BJP leaders Rahul Sinha and Sayantan Basu.
It also attached a screenshot of a tweet by BJP vice- president Arjun Singh and said that the saffron party leader had tried to ”spread misinformation” by allegedly sharing a photograph of a CISF personnel injured in a langur attack in Jharkhand as a picture taken in Sitalkuchi. The tweet was also reposted by saffron party heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari.
”The top brass of the BJP has been actively condoning the murder and brazenly suggesting that more innocent lives should have been lost at the hands of central armed police forces,” the TMC said. The party demanded that ”appropriate legal action, including criminal proceedings, be taken against Ghosh, Sinha, Basu and others for their inflammatory statements”.