A scuffle broke out between Kolkata Police and BJP leaders on Thursday, close to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence in South Kolkata when the BJP tried taking out their leader Manas Saha’s funeral procession in the area.
Dhurjyoti Saha of the BJP, popularly known as Manas, died on Wednesday at a private nursing home in Thakurpukur area. He was admitted to the hospital with multiple head injuries on May 2, the day of the poll results, after an alleged attack by Trinamool Congress supporters. His condition suddenly deteriorated and he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.
Saha contested the assembly polls from Magrahat West constituency in South 24 Parganas district, and lost to TMC’s Giasuddin Molla by 97,006 votes.
His family members have alleged that Saha was attacked by Molla’s supporters outside a counting centre on the day of the results.
The BJP on Thursday decided to take out Saha’s funeral procession in the area of the chief minister’s residence but were prevented by police. The funeral procession was led by West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar and BJP MP Arjun Singh, besides other party leaders, including Priyanka Tibrewal, who is contesting against Banerjee in the Bhabanipur bypoll.
All BJP leaders and supporters who were part of the funeral procession were stopped in Kalighat by Kolkata Police. The BJP has alleged that police personnel assaulted those who were taking Saha’s body towards the CM’s residence.
Deputy commissioner of police, South Division, Akash Magharia was spotted having a tough time handling the situation. A large police force was present at the spot to bring the situation under control.
Arjun Singh said, “Manas Saha’s family members wanted to meet the chief minister for justice. However, they were heckled by Kolkata Police. Is this democracy? There is a Taliban rule in West Bengal. The police prevented us from moving forward and misbehaved with us. They also heckled our party leaders. The ruling TMC has politicised the bureaucracy. The police here are working as servants of the ruling party.”
On August 19, the Calcutta High Court handed over cases of murder and crime against women related to post-poll violence in West Bengal to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), while handing remaining cases to a special investigation team (SIT). Both the CBI probe as well as the SIT probe are court-monitored.
“I am hopeful that CBI will take stern action against those involved in killing Manas (Saha). I would like to request residents of Bhabanipur to give a befitting reply to Mamata Banerjee for her dictatorship in Bengal,” Singh said, adding that the body had been taken to Mograhat for cremation.
On Twitter, BJP Bengal from its official handle tweeted: “Manas Saha, a BJP candidate from the Mograhat West Assembly is another victim of post-poll violence! He was brutally beaten by TMC thugs at Diamond Harbor on the result day & died today after prolonged treatment. Mamata Banerjee’s hands are stained with the blood of BJP workers.”
Retweeting BJP Bengal’s tweet, BJP national incharge of IT department Amit Malviya said: “The BJP moved the body of Manas Saha, its Mograhat West AC candidate, who died y’day after a long battle, as a result of post poll violence, to Mamata Banerjee’s residence for justice. She has the blood of innocent BJP workers on her hand. @DrSukantaBJP and @ArjunSinghWB led the protest.”
Earlier in the day, union minister Hardeep Singh Puri paid his last respects to Saha and offered his condolences to his family members.
Majumdar said, “His (Manas Saha) sacrifice will not go in vain. We will continue to raise our voice against the misrule of the TMC government in Bengal.”
Responding to the allegations, TMC leader Tapas Roy said, “BJP leaders are directionless after the humiliating defeat in the assembly polls. They don’t even know what to do now. Any death for me is unfortunate and my condolences are with his family members.”
With inputs from News18