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Hindutva outfit chief held after attack

A pro-Hindutva outfit's rally in the heart of Calcutta on Wednesday ended in commotion as some of its activists assaulted journalists, leading to the arrest of the group's chief.

By Our Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 15.02.18
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Calcutta: A pro-Hindutva outfit's rally in the heart of Calcutta on Wednesday ended in commotion as some of its activists assaulted journalists, leading to the arrest of the group's chief.

Hindu Samhati Manch boss Tapan Ghosh was held along with three others and charged with offences, including those under non-bailable IPC Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 326 (causing grievous hurt).

Although the Manch has hosted events regularly in the state in recent years and claims to be part of the saffron camp, the BJP denied any association. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh condemned Wednesday's attack and recalled that Tapan had floated the Manch a decade ago after the former pracharak was expelled from the RSS.

On Wednesday, the Manch had organised the meeting at Rani Rashmoni Avenue to observe its 10th foundation day and among its key demands was renaming Sealdah station as "Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Terminus" after the Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder.

The attack took place when some journalists tried to speak to a family of 14 - Tapan said they were converted from another faith at the event - and asked if they had been brought against their will.

Tapan and others allegedly did not intervene or try to stop the assault on the journalists. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee and CPM politburo member Mohammad Salim were among the first to condemn the incident. Sources close to Mamata said she had promised stern action.

Tapan blamed the attack on "provocation" by the journalists. "I take full responsibility and promise to make sure such incidents do not recur. But our people were provoked by ABP Ananda," he said before his arrest.

"Our people have to be mature enough to understand the designs of journalists, most of whom remain Left-minded. These journalists do not want to see a reawakening of Hindus," Tapan said before his arrest.