Naushad Siddiqui, leader of the Indian Secular Front (ISF) and Bhangar MLA, and 17 other party workers, who were arrested on Saturday on the charge of attacking police, were on Sunday remanded in police custody till February 1.
One of the arrested has been sent to a home as he is a juvenile.
“The accused have been booked for 14 charges, including 10 under the IPC. The IPC charges deal with attempt to murder, rioting, armed with deadly weapon, assaulting a public servant and unlawful assembly,” said an officer.
“There are also charges under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and the West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act.”
Several of the charges are non-bailable. Some, if established in court, can invite a punishment of up to 10 years in jail, officers said.
The 19 in custody allegedly attacked cops when they tried to lift a blockade put up by ISF activists. The ISF was demanding the arrest of Trinamul leader Arabul Islam for allegedly spearheading an attack on ISF workers.
The public prosecutor submitted in the court that an attempt was made to murder senior officers, including the officer in charge of a police station.
The officer-in-charge of Bowbazar police station, Debjit Bhattacharya, and additional OC Samarendra Chakraborty have been admitted to Belle Vue Clinic. Ten other injured cops are recovering at the trauma care centre of SSKM Hospital.
A Belle Vue official said both officers were stable.
“The attack left two ribs and the cervical spine of Bhattacharya fractured. There are also multiple blunt injuries. Chakraborty suffered head and elbow injuries,” said an officer.
Challenging the arrests, the lawyer representing the accused wondered whether this was an attempt by the ruling party to remove opposition from Bhangar ahead of the panchayat elections.
“We will continue to fight for the people,” Naushad said, while entering the court, in the presence of a number of ISF supporters who had gathered to protest Saturday’s arrests.
In Bhangar in South 24-Parganas, a bag containing crude bombs was found at a spot near Trinamul leader Arabul Islam’s house earlier in the day, police said. Three alleged ISF workers were arrested in connection with the bomb haul.