BJP leader Rajarshi Lahiri filed a police complaint on Saturday (22 July) against Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee for delivering an "instigating" speech during the Martyr's Day rally on Friday.
In his complaint sent via email, Lahiri accused Abhishek of attempting to incite TMC members to commit the offences of "wrongful confinement and wrongful restraint" against all leaders, active members, followers, and supporters of the BJP in West Bengal on 5 August, from 10 am to 6 pm.
Lahiri emphasized that such instigation and intimidation not only violate the principles of democracy but also constitute a clear violation of the law, as every citizen in India is guaranteed the fundamental right to move freely throughout the country. He highlighted that wrongful confinement and restraint are punishable offences under the Indian legal system.
The BJP leader also announced that the party's leaders would take the matter to court if any BJP worker faced attacks, holding the TMC responsible for such incidents.
During the 21 July Martyr's Day rally in Kolkata, Abhishek Banerjee called for a peaceful sit-in outside the houses of BJP leaders across West Bengal to protest against the Centre's alleged refusal to clear pending funds for the state.
He urged TMC block-level leaders to prepare a list of BJP leaders in their areas and peacefully surround their houses for eight hours on 5 August, with exemptions for elderly family members.
In response to the BJP's complaint, senior TMC leader and state minister Shashi Panja stated that the saffron party got "scared" by Abhishek's speech.
Panja defended the call for a peaceful protest and mentioned that CM Mamata Banerjee specified that protesters should maintain a distance of 100 meters from the houses of BJP workers, asserting that it is a protest for democratic rights.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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