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TMC workers attack BJP office in Kolkata after Sudip Bandyopadhyay’s arrest, CRPF deployed

Soon after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cried foul against the Centre over the arrest of Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay in connection with the Rs 15,000 crore Rose Valley ponzi scam, the students’ wing of ruling party attacke

India TV Politics Desk, Kolkata [ Updated: January 03, 2017 21:12 IST ]
Security personnel standing guard in front of BJP state party office in KolkataPhoto:PTI

Agitated Trinamool Congress activists attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in Kolkata following the arrest of ruling TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay in connection with the Rs 15,000 crore Rose Valley ponzi scam. 

A contingent of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was deployed to control the situation. 

The action by the TMC students’ wing came soon after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dubbed the arrest of Bandyopadhyay as ‘vendetta politics’ by the Centre and announced nationwide protests against the government's ‘vindictive attitude’.

The Trinamool supporters shouted slogans and blocked the entrances of the BJP office. A few BJP workers bled from the head as they spoke to the media.

Some cars parked in the alley leading to the office were vandalised and stones were pelted at the building. Activists from both the parties also got embroiled brawl at the site. Police, however, rushed to the BJP office as soon as they learnt about the incident.

The police said no one has been arrested yet in connection with the violence.

The BJP workers present in the party office during the alleged attack said the assault was "pre-planned and unprovoked". The party said 15 of its activists were injured. A few bled from the head as they spoke to the media. 

"We were sitting inside the party office when some Trinamool goons attacked our party office and hurled bricks at us without any provocation. Around 15 of our party workers got injured in the incident," a BJP worker claimed.

State BJP heavy-weights strongly condemned the attack, saying: "Trinamool Congress is becoming violent after the arrest of their leaders in serious corruption charges."

"This attack was expected. The Trinamool Congress has become scared after the arrest of their Lok Sabha leader and is resorting to violence. This shows who is doing 'vendetta politics' in the country," BJP state President Dilip Ghosh said.

Earlier, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee announced nationwide protests against the Modi government's "vindictive attitude".

Banerjee went on to the extent of demanding the arrest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah instead.

"We strongly condemn the politically vindictive attitude of Modi and Amit Shah. They have arrested our Parliamentary Party leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay. He is a veteran politician and senior leader of our party. It is all because of our fight against NoteBandi (note ban). We are and will be with the people. Nothing can stop us from being with the people and we will continue with our protest against NoteBandi," she said.

"We condemn, condemn and condemn this," she said in a Facebook post.

Banerjee said her party will launch pan-India protests against the Centre's vindictive attitude.

"We will hold a demonstration in front of Kolkata RBI on January 9 and there will be dharnas in 10 different states including Delhi, Assam, Odisha and Tripura on January 10 and 11," she said.

"I also run a government and I also have the power to arrest certain people who are thieves, hooligans and extortionists. This arrest has been made under pressure from the PMO. This is vendetta politics because the Trinamool is fighting against the Centre over demonetisation," she told the media earlier.

Meanwhile, Bandyopadhyay’s wife, TMC MLAs and MPs including Saugat Roy, Dinesh Trivedi and Partha Chatterjee have reached the CBI’s office here to meet the leader.

The Congress party too alleged that the government was practicing hate politics by targeting opposition party MPs.

“Modi government unleashed vendetta politics on opposition. Tapas Pal named Babul Supriyo in chit fund scam but was he arrested?” party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

On the other hand, dismissing the allegations, BJP leader Piyush Goyal said the central government ‘never interferes’ in any investigation process.

"We never interfere in any investigation process," Goyal said here.

Asked about opposition protests against demonetisation, Goyal said, "This is political opposition. People of India have supported the move."

Last month, the CBI had arrested another TMC Tapas Pal for his alleged involvement in the scam.

Rose Valley scam, which was also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate, encompasses a larger amount of money swindling as compared to the Saradha case. The scam is believed to be the biggest ponzi fraud in the country.

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