Congress MP and Murshidabad strongman Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was on Friday granted bail in a double murder case but arrested soon after for another murder and creating trouble at a polling booth. Congress workers termed the fresh charges a "conspiracy" by the Left-ruled state government and staged protests at several places.
Behrampore Chief Judicial Magistrate Amit Chattopadhyay granted Adhir bail in a twin murder case in the district in 2005 after he surrendered before the court in the morning.
But he was arrested as soon as he stepped out of the court premises for the murder of Mougram Panchayat Chief Gobordhan Ghosh in 2003 and for creating trouble at a polling booth at Bharatpur the same year.
Chowdhury was again produced before the Behrampore CJM court, which granted him bail in connection with the murder of the Mougram Panchayat chief, but denied it to him in the second case.
He was kept at the court lock-up for some time and later sent to Behrampore Central Correctional Home in the evening. He will be produced in Katwa court on Saturday.
The MP, who represents Behrampore Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district, had earlier been acquitted of the charges of murdering a hotelier and his son - Hanif and Laltu Sheikh- in Behrampore in July 2005 by the Murshidabad additional sessions judge's court. The court also gave a clean chit to 13 others in the case.
But after the state government challenged the verdict in Calcutta High Court, the division bench of Justices Amit Talukdar and Arun Kumar Bhattacharya last week ordered his arrest along with the 13 acquitted and said they should be produced in a chief judicial magistrate's court.
Though the 13 accused had surrendered before the Behrampore CJM court, Chowdhury gave himself up before the court on Friday.
"I appeared before the court for bail in the twin murder case. Though I was granted bail, I was immediately arrested for my alleged involvement in two other cases, about which I was not aware. It's a conspiracy by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led state government and police to frame me," Chowdhury told reporters after coming out of the courtroom.
Condemning the arrest, Congress leader Manas Bhuniya said the two fresh charges against Adhir were a conspiracy hatched by the state government.
As soon as the news of his arrest spread, Congress supporters staged a blockade at Behrampore and Murshidabad.
Protests and demonstrations were reported from different parts of the city - near Howrah Bridge and Hazra in south Kolkata.
Youth Congress activists, carrying party flags and posters, blocked the Howrah Bridge for about 15 minutes, causing traffic snarls. Police later reached the spot and dispersed the protesters.