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Bengal BJP president says protesters ‘shot like dogs’, invites criticism

Ghosh made the comments while addressing a gathering of party supporters at Ranaghat in Nadia district after leading a rally in support of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Updated: Jan 13, 2020 15:07 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Kolkata

BJP’s West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh (PTI file photo)

The BJP’s West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh triggered yet another controversy on Sunday evening with his comments that those damaging government properties will be shot “like dogs” as they were in states ruled by his party.

Ghosh made the comments while addressing a gathering of party supporters at Ranaghat in Nadia district after leading a rally in support of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

“They burnt down trains and buses. Government properties worth Rs 500 to Rs 600 crore have been damaged in West Bengal. But the police neither opened fire nor baton-charged the protesters or file FIRs against them. Didi’s police didn’t arrest anyone. Why? This is a waste of public money. This is your money and my money,” Ghosh said.

“Just look at Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. Our governments there killed these devils with bullets. They were killed like dogs,” he added.



The Indian Railways have, however, said they lost property worth Rs 90 crore, with Eastern Railways—mostly spread across West Bengal—alone accounting for 80% of those losses alone accounting for 80% of those losses pegged at Rs 72.19 crore during the country-wide protests in the past 10 days.

“You people will come here, take a share of our food and damage properties here? We will baton-charge, we will open fire and will smash your skulls. Mamata Banerjee has no guts,” he added.

His remarks triggered a major political controversy, with the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Left and the Congress taking digs at him.

“He has gone insane. He needs medical attention,” said TMC secretary-general and state education minister Partha Chatterjee.

“It seems like Dilip Ghosh is the devil we need to talk about. It is below one’s taste to even respond to his remarks,” state Congress president Somen Mitra said.

“I wonder if Dilip Ghosh is a human being at all. In any case, if Mamata Banerjee has any sincerity against the BJP’s politics and in maintaining law and order in the state, the first thing she needs to do is to ask the police to file an FIR against Ghosh for criminal intimidation,” said Md Salim, a politburo member of Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Even BJP leaders distanced themselves from Ghosh’s remarks.

“BJP, as a party has nothing to do with what a DIlip Ghosh may have said. It is a figment of his imagination & BJP Govts in UP, Assam have NEVER EVER resorted to shooting people for whatever reason whatsoever. Very irresponsible of Dilip Da to have said what he said (sic),” Union minister for environment, forest and climate change Babul Supriyo tweeted.

Incidentally, the Bengal unit of the BJP is slated to elect the new president on January 17 and Dilip Ghosh is all set to take charge for a second term, according to senior leaders of the party’s state unit.

Banerjee has staunchly criticised CAA, which fast-tracks the process of granting of Indian citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring Muslim-majority countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The chief minister has led protests against the amended law and while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the state’s capital over the weekend, she even attended a demonstration against CAA by the TMC’s students’ wing.

She reiterated her party Trinamool Congress’ stand that the state government will not implement the new citizenship law or the proposed National Register for Citizens (NRC) in the state.

More than 20 have died in protest-related violence across the country since the legislation was passed by Parliament in December last year.

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