A West Bengal panchayat leader claimed on Thursday that he had handed over to the media videos showing Trinanool MP Tapas Pal urging partyworkers to kill and rape opposition supporters.
The deputy chief of Dogachi gram panchayat, Abdullah Mollah, who made the statement to a Bengali TV channel, said, " have handed over the footage to the media. I haven't sold it, but I have given it out to expose what is going on in the political space. I have been driven by public good and will hand over any such material (in future)."
His statement has shattered West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s "conspiracy" theory. On Wednesday, Banerjee had claimed that TV channels had purchased the video footage as she batted for Pal while calling him a victim of media conspiracy.
Read: Trinamool Congress accepts Tapas Pal's apology, says matter over
Meanwhile, Bengali channels on Thursday aired another video in which Pal is urging supporters to hit opposition supporters with sharp-edged weapons.
"Keep sharp-edged weapons. Hit them right in the middle of their head. I’ll see which police officer comes to arrest you," Pal, the Krishnanagar MP, said during a party gathering in his constituency.
Read: Hit them in the middle of head, says Tapas Pal in new video
In another part of the speech, the MP was seen asking supporters to vandalise the home of a CPI(M) supporter. "Go and destroy Rafiqul’s home, right now, if you have guts," Pal insisted. It appears that Pal made these speeches at Teghari village on June 14.
Earlier, TMC leaders had launched a hunt for people who recorded and circulated video clips showing Pal threatening to unleash rapists on CPI(M) women workers.
Read: TMC searches for people who filmed, sold videos of Pal's speech to media
"I have asked local Trinamool leaders to identify the persons," said Tapas Saha, Trinamool Congress general secretary of Nadia area, where Pal had made the speech on June 14.
The footage, filmed with cellphone cameras, was aired by Bengali channels. In the first video, Pal is seen threatening CPI(M) workers with rape if Left workers dared to harm his party workers. In the second video he is exhorting his supporters to bring him CPI(M) workers so that he can behead them himself.
Read: In new video Tapas Pal threatens to 'publicly behead' CPI(M) men
In their effort to find the "culprits", some overzealous Trinamool workers vainly checked cellphones of a few people for the videos.
"My phone was also checked. But I had deleted whatever I had recorded immediately after the controversy started," said a villager who had listened to the speech of Pal, a two-time MP from Krishnanagar constituency.
Saha told HT that leaking videos to the media could be the handiwork of CPI(M). He also didn't rule out that someone from the party could be behind the conspiracy, as it is believed that there is a strong anti-Pal faction in Krishnanagar.