FIR lodged against 11 BJP MLAs for alleged insult to the National Anthem

Some BJP MLAs allegedly started shouting “'chor chor (thief thief)' while TMC MLAs were singing the National Anthem

Our Special Correspondent Kolkata Published 01.12.23, 06:13 AM
Representational image

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An FIR has been lodged against 11 BJP MLAs for the alleged insult to the National Anthem and provocation for breach of public peace during a protest meeting by the Trinamul Congress on the Assembly premises on Wednesday.

According to the allegations, some BJP MLAs had allegedly started shouting “chor chor (thief thief)” while the Trinamul MLAs were singing the National Anthem.


Asked about the FIR, BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul said on Thursday: “We really don’t need to be taught nationalism by Mamata Banerjee, who
repeatedly doubts the valour of our armed forces, and was infamously seated while the anthem was being sung in 2021.”

“It is laughable that FIRs are being lodged against us for protesting in favour of the people of Bengal,” she said.

The complaint submitted by the Trinamul leaders allegedly included the name of the leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, but the police refrained from mentioning his name in the FIR citing a court order.

The complaint was triggered by an incident that happened on Wednesday when chief minister Mamata Banerjee, along with several Trinamul MLAs, were holding a planned protest under BR Ambedkar’s statue in the Assembly compound.

The police said they received a complaint from Sukumar Ray, secretary of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, along with a two-page letter addressed to the Speaker and signed by Trinamul MLAs Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Chandrima Bhattacharya and Tapas Ray.

A senior officer at the police headquarters in Lalbazar said the complaint was against 12 BJP MLAs, including Adhikari. But Adhikari’s name has not been included in the FIR because of a judgment by Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of Calcutta High Court on December 8, 2022, the officer said.

The FIR was registered on Thursday against Sankar Ghosh, Manoj Tigga, Sudip Kumar Mukherjee, Malati Reva Roy, Chandrani Barui, Niladri Sekhar Dana, Mihir Goswami, Manoj Kumar Oraon, Suman Kanjilal, Dipak Barman, and Hiranmoy Chattopadhyay, the police said.

A case under IPC sections on wrongful restraint,
spreading provocation for breach of public peace and common intention and under a section in the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, which deals with the offence of prevention of singing of the National Anthem, was registered at Hare Street police station on Thursday.

The police said that during the incident, the BJP MLAs allegedly blocked the gate of the South Portico in the Assembly compound and provoked a breach of peace. “Detailed investigation is on,” an assistant commissioner of police said.

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