Kolkata: Police in West Bengal has registered a case against Union Minister Babul Supriyo on charges of disrupting public order after he clashed with cops on Thursday.
Two separate FIRs were filed against Supriyo after the BJP MLA got into a scuffle with cops as he attempted to enter troubled areas in Asansol - a town which has seen violence following Ram Navami processions in Raniganj earlier in the week. The singer-turned-politician on Thursday met slum dwellers in the area and then reportedly wanted to take his march into the Railpar area in Paschim Bardhaman district. He was stopped - resulting in a scuffle. Several local reports even suggested that he threatened cops.
Supriyo though has defended himself and has filed a counter-FIR. "As a public representative, I have every right to visit my constituency, especially when people are in trouble. It is my duty. But the police is saying I won't be allowed to go as Section 144 is imposed in the area. Being a minister, I cannot violate rules," he said.
Internet services were suspended and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were clamped in the area, following clashes between two groups on Sunday and Monday over the Ram Navami rally at Raniganj. Supriyo, the Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, has accused CM Mamata Bannerjee of ignoring the tense ground situation. "The state government has been told repeatedly that if they cannot control the situation, let central forces come in. This has been clearly turned down," he said on Thursday. "The CM is sitting in Delhi and looking at her prime ministerial ambitions."
While Mamata Banerjee is indeed in Delhi and in talks with major opposition parties on how best to face up to Narendra Modi's government, she has said she is getting regular updates about the situation back in her state.