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Seven BJP workers sent to police custody; top leaders released

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-05-2017 Arkamoy Dutta Majumdar

Kolkata: A court in Kolkata on Friday remanded seven Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in police custody until 29 May, while releasing 134 others, including all the top leaders, on bail.

The police had arrested 141 BJP workers and leaders following Thursday’s protest rally in Kolkata, which turned violent. The police pressed charges against 14 of them under various non-bailable sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms and Explosive Act.

Although the remaining 127 workers could have obtained bail on Thursday, they chose not to in order to show solidarity with the 14 against whom the police pressed charges.

Leaders such BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly spent the night in police custody. They were produced in court on Friday and released on bail.

Ghosh alleged the charges against the seven persons who continue to be in detention were trumped up. The police have booked them under the Arms and Explosive Act.

Seven others who were booked for rioting, arson and damage to public property and denied bail on Thursday were released on Friday as the police couldn’t immediately produce any evidence against them.

Ghosh denied the allegation that BJP workers had hurled bombs at the police on Thursday, although the administration said unexploded bombs were recovered from an intersection where the police fought a pitched battle with BJP workers.

The BJP took out rallies on Friday in protest against the arrest of its workers and leaders. They tried to lay siege to a police station in central Kolkata, but the police managed to disperse the protestors quickly.

BJP workers blocked traffic in Kolkata and in other parts of the state to protest what they described as “police excesses”.

Everyone has a right to protest, so why did the police take stern action against BJP workers, asked Union minister and BJP lawmaker Babul Supriyo, while visiting those detained by the police.

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