Prophet Mohammad row: Bengal BJP president arrested on way to violence-hit Howrah
Kolkata, Jun 11: Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar was arrested while he was on his way to violence-hit Howrah district.
Majumdar, the MP of Balurghat in Uttar Dinajpur, was arrested near the toll plaza on Vidyasagar Setu, they said.
"Mr Majumdar was trying to travel to Howrah where prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC have been clamped. His visit could have created a law and order situation. This is a preventive arrest," a senior police officer told PTI.
Majumdar said the situation in West Bengal was fast-turning into that in Kashmir.
"First, they stopped me at my home. I was put under house arrest. Later, they allowed me to leave my residence. Now, they have stopped me on Vidyasagar Setu and arrested me. The police are saying that as prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed, no one will be allowed to visit the area," he told reporters before being taken into custody.
"We used to read news about leaders in Kashmir being put under house arrest. Today, a similar thing happened here. The state is fast turning into Kashmir," he added.
Following Majumdar's arrest, BJP leaders and workers hit the streets in protest.
BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul along with hundreds of party workers rushed to Lalbazar, the headquarters of Kolkata Police, to protest against the arrest.
Similar protests were also underway in Uttar Dinajpur, Cooch Behar, Birbhum and Jalpaiguri districts.
The Trinamool Congress lauded the police action against Majumdar, alleging that he was going to trouble-torn Howrah to fan communal tensions.
"Police did the right thing by stopping him," TMC MLA Tapas Ray said.
Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim demanded the arrest of now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma whose inflammatory remarks on Prophet Mohammad sparked the violence in Howrah on Friday.
"She should be arrested immediately. BJP is trying to vitiate the atmosphere of the country," he said.
BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh, however, managed to enter Howrah and visit the areas where offices of his party were attacked.
"The lawless situation here reflects the administration's failure," Ghosh said.
Internet services have been suspended across Howrah till June 13 and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC imposed in areas such as Uluberia, Domjur and Panchla, following the violence.