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TMC demands Dilip Ghosh's arrest for his 'there will be more Sitalkuchi-like incidents' remark

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday demanded the arrest of BJP state president Dilip Ghosh for his 'provocative' speech at a public rally in Baranagar, North 24-Parganas where the latter said that there will be similar incidents like the one that happened in Cooch Behar's Sitalkuchi. During the 4th phase of polls on Saturday four persons were killed when CISF opened fire near a polling booth at Sitalkuchi.

"The way he (Dilip Ghosh) spoke is a clear case of provocation. The concerned authorities must initiate legal action by arresting him for such statement," TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said. Trinamool Youth Congress national President Abhishek Banerjee condemned such remarks made by Ghosh and demanded his expulsion for the party. "When the Prime Minister himself had condoled the demise of the four persons, their state president had said that there will be similar incidents like Sitalkuchi. If the Prime Minister has not become bereft of moral values then he should convene a press conference tomorrow (Monday) and expel Ghosh for such remarks," Banerjee said during his public rallies at Minakhan in North 24-Parganas, Chakdah in Nadia and North Dum Dum.

Ghosh while addressing the rally had said that Central forces will be deployed in booths and no one will be allowed to threaten them." If things go out of hand, there will be more Sitalkuchi-like incidents in many places. So beware," he said.

In all the three rallies Banerjee played an audio clip of a similar provocative speech by BJP leader Sayantan Basu in March 2019 before the Lok Sabha polls in the state where the latter had asked the Central forces to shoot people in the chest and not in the legs if they tried to capture booths on the polling day. Condemning both the speeches made by Ghosh and Basu , Banerjee said: "You (BJP) must have seen what happened to the CPI(M) for their killings in Nandigram and Netai. The people of Bengal will give you a befitting reply through ballot against bullets," Banerjee said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his election campaign, however, alleged that TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee's advice to gherao Central forces had instigated people to attack CISF in Sitalkuchi that led to four deaths in firing by security personnel.

TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy lashed out at Shah pointing out that the latter had made false statements by claiming that Banerjee paid tributes to the people killed in the CISF firing but did not condole the death of one Ananda Barman, as he was from the Rajbongshi community.

"Our party chairperson Mamata Banerjee before her public rallies paid tribute to all the five persons including Barman who died by alleged firing by miscreants and prayed for their souls to rest in peace. Shah has been deliberately indulging in falsehood," said Roy.

He added more than 11,700 processions have been held across the state including Kolkata by TMC with the demand of resignation of Shah in connection with the "genocide" at Sitalkuchi and arrest of Ghosh for his provocative speech.

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