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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Mamata heckling: six SFI, CPM activists arrested

PTI  New Delhi, April 22, 2013
First Published: 13:54 IST(22/4/2013) | Last Updated: 14:43 IST(22/4/2013)

Six activists belonging to CPI(M) and its youth wing SFI, including two women, were arrested in New Delhi on Monday for allegedly assaulting West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra outside the Planning Commission office two weeks back.

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Those arrested included Students Federation of India (SFI) general secretary Ritabrata Bandhopadhyay, Delhi CPI(M) secretary PMS Grewal, Delhi state committee member Nathu Prasad and women activists Asha Sharma and Anju Jha.

They face charges under section 353 (assault), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 143 and 149 (relating unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.

"They were arrested after analysing the video footage related to the protest at Yojna Bhavan housing Planning Commission on Parliament Street on April 9," a senior police official said.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Mitra had gone to Planning Commission office to discuss the state's annual plan when they were gheraoed by a group of angry SFI activists protesting the death of one of their colleagues in Kolkata early this month.

The 65-year-old finance minister was manhandled while trying to enter the Yojana Bhawan building and a woman protester thumped him twice on his chest and his kurta got torn in the melee.

He was later put under medical observation at AIIMS and Banerjee was administered oxygen after she took ill.

The heckling generated a controversy with Trinamool Congress staging demonstrations in Kolkata and demanding stringent punishment against the protesters.

CPI(M) has condemned the heckling of Mitra and its General Secretary Prakash Karat has said, "There was no attack whatsoever on Mamata Banerjee. But there was a melee and jostling of the finance minister (Mitra), which we have disapproved of and condemned."

According to the police, the chief minister was supposed to enter the Planning Commission building in the high security zone of the capital through its Gate No 4, but she used the in-gate where CISF had erected a barricade to control the access.

"She came in a private car and without any escort. Then she was heckled by the protesters. Immediately, police threw a cordon around her and escorted her inside," a police official had said.


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