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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

TMC releases video showcasing ‘hate speeches and communal slurs’ by Suvendu Adhikari

Trinamul sources said the party thought the time was just right to release the video, with Adhikari bang in the middle of a controversy for allegedly calling an on-duty IPS officer, S. Jaspreet Singh, a 'Khalistani'

Devadeep Purohit Calcutta Published 24.02.24, 04:45 AM
Suvendu Adhikari.

Suvendu Adhikari. File picture.

The Trinamul Congress on Friday released a 108-second video showcasing a collage of “hate speeches and communal slurs” by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and urged the courts to note how he was spreading “hatred and bigotry”.

The attempt to corner the Bengal leader of the Opposition comes at a time when he is trying to spearhead a movement against the state government using the developments in Sandeshkhali.

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Trinamul sources said the party thought the time was just right to release the video, with Adhikari bang in the middle of a controversy for allegedly calling an on-duty IPS officer, S. Jaspreet Singh, a “Khalistani”.

With the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and several other Sikh organisations having condemned the alleged “communal slur”, the purported comment has become an embarrassment for the saffron camp.

Bengal police and Trinamul had already circulated videos to try and establish that Adhikari had indeed made the “Khalistani” comment against the officer.

Friday’s Trinamul video — in which a man resembling Adhikari appears to make controversial comments against Mamata Banerjee and Rahul Gandhi, as well as against the police and some tribal leaders — seeks to paint the Nandigram MLA as a serial offender.

In the video, the man resembling Adhikari appears to refer to Mamata as “Begum” and a “minister of Pakistan” besides using an expletive against Rahul. He also purportedly describes the police as “lap dogs” and two tribal leaders, whom he names, as people who “remain under my feet”.

Adhikari’s purported comments on contentious issues such as birth control, illegal infiltration and the CAA — issues often used to bait Muslims — have been included in the collage and labelled “hate speech”.

Senior Trinamul leaders including the party’s all-India general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, MPs Sushmita Dev and Derek O’Brien and suspended parliamentarian Mahua Moitra posted the video on their X handles as proof of the BJP’s “hate, communal slurs, filth and venom”.

In his tweet on X, Abhishek expressed regret that Adhikari had remained under the protection of the high court despite “injecting venom” into Bengal.

“Despite numerous pleas this person remains under the protection of the high court. Who is accountable for spreading such hatred & bigotry and what compels the Calcutta HC to shield him ?” he posted, writing several words in block letters.

Abhishek seemed to be alluding to a 2022 order passed by Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of Calcutta High Court that said no FIR could be lodged against Adhikari without the court’s permission. The state government had challenged the order in the Supreme Court, but it was sent back to the high court.

Trinamul fielded senior ministers Chandrima Bhattacharya and Shashi Panja at a news conference on Friday afternoon to draw the court’s attention to how Adhikari was allegedly getting away with “disrespectful and derogatory” comments because of the court’s protection.

“These are distasteful and disrespectful remarks. They are derogatory. And the worst part is, he is not expressing any remorse. Look at the brazenness,” Panja said. She added that while the party had full faith in the legal system, it expected the courts to take note of Adhikari’s “verbal terror”.

At the news conference, the Trinamul leaders also tried to draw the court’s attention to Adhikari’s alleged flouting of the conditions imposed on him by the high court when Justice Kausik Chanda allowed him to visit strife-torn Sandeshkhali.

“The court directed him not to give any provocative speech or create any law-and-order situation in the restive area. Now it has been proved beyond doubt that he called an on-duty IPS officer a Khalistani only because he wore a turban,” Panja said.

“The entire BJP leadership in Bengal and Delhi have remained quiet though there have been protests against his comment across the country. The question is, how long will he get away because of this protection?” she asked.

Asked whether Trinamul would move court on this, she said the party was taking the matter up in the “people’s court”.

Adhikari and the BJP leadership have denied that he called the officer a “Khalistani”.

Adhikari had not by late Friday night commented on the latest video released by Trinamul.

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