The police on Friday registered FIRs against 1200 Congress workers in connection with Thursday's vandalism in the Murshidabad district magistrate's office in Behrampore, in presence of Union minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, even as the minister remained defiant saying nothing had happened.
Murshidabad SP Humayun Kabir told reporters in Behrampore that FIRs have been lodged against 1200 Congress workers who went on a rampage in the DM's office.
Asked if the minister's name figured in any of the FIRs, the SP refused to divulge saying, it involved an Union minister.
Congress workers on Thursday smashed flower pots, pulled down a sun shed and threw brickbats breaking the windscreen of a vehicle as Chowdhury was seen standing on the bonnet of a jeep, apparently trying to pacify the demonstrators who were holding a sit-in demonstration, protesting against the death of a party worker.
Chowdhury, who was present during the demonstration, which turned violent, said, "It was expected that a case will be filed against me. Earlier also I had faced a number of charges. I tried to pacify the irate mob. Everybody witnessed the role played by me. It was appreciated by local officials."
Chowdhury, who stuck to his Thursday's statement that nothing had happened said, the PCC president, the CLP leader and three MPs had gone to submit a memorandum to DM Rajiv Kumar, but were told that the DM was having his lunch.
"How dare the DM refused to meet the delegation"? he asked.
PCC president Pradip Bhattacharjee reiterated that the DM did not come (to meet them) and no Congress worker was involved in vandalism.
The Trinamool Congress on Friday condemned the incident, saying the Prime Minister should take action against the Union minister.
Senior TMC leader Sultan Ahmed said, "This is not a new thing for Adhir Chowdhury to do all illegal things. He led the group yesterday. The PM should take action against him."
"The Election Commission should take note of it and debar Chowdhury from entering the district wherein the Rejinagar by-election is slated for February 23," he added.
Thursday's incident is only one of a series of violent political incidents — from streetfights to widespread campus violence to attacks on government officials — to rock the state ever since the Trinamool government came to power in May 2011.
On November 14, 2012, a mob chased a senior government in official in Tehatta. He opened fire from his service revolver, killing one of the demonstrators.
In December last year, MLAs of the Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M) traded blows in a free-for-all inside the assembly, leaving at least two legislators injured.
That incident reminded many of the November 30, 2006, violence, when Mamata Banerjee, then an MP, entered the assembly and asked her MLAs to protest against the manner in which the police had stopped her from reaching Singur, where she was to agitate against the Nano plant.
Trinamool MLAs smashed furniture and other artefacts that decorated the state assembly building.
In early January, Trinamool leader Arabul Islam was accused of beating up veteran CPI(M) MLA Abdur Rezzak Mollah at Bhangar, in the South 24-Parganas.
While sports minister Madan Mitra had supported Islam and said the Trinamool Congress could have wiped out the CPI(M) in five minutes had Mamata Banerjee wanted it, governor MK Narayanan had issued a statement expressing concern over what he called "goondaism" in the state.
Last year was also marked by a series of violent incidents on college campuses across the state, in which Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad supporters were accused of taking the lead.
(With inputs from PTI, HT)