EC asks Dilip Ghosh to clarify stance on Cooch Behar violence
The Election Commission of India has asked Dilip Ghosh, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s West Bengal unit, to clarify his stance over the killings of four men at Sitalkuchi in the state's Cooch Behar district. Ghosh had earlier courted controversies by saying that more Cooch Behar-like killings may happen in the next phase of the state assembly elections if "naughty boys like the ones who died in Sitalkuchi" try to take the law into their hands. The EC notice on Tuesday cited Dilip Ghosh's remarks and asked the West Bengal BJP president to respond to the notice and make his stand clear on his statements by 10am on Wednesday, ANI reported.
Four persons died last Saturday as CISF personnel opened fire after some people "attempted to snatch their rifles" while voting was underway in Cooch Behar's Sitalkuchi assembly constituency area in the fourth phase of the ongoing West Bengal assembly polls. Ghosh, while addressing an election rally at Baranagar in North 24 Parganas district on Sunday, had said, "Naughty boys, who had presumed that the rifles of the central forces were just for a show during election duty, will not dare repeat the same mistake after seeing what happened in Sitalkuchi".
"Naughty boys received bullets at Sitalkuchi. If anyone dares to take the law into his hands, this will happen to him also," Ghosh said without elaborating on the phrase 'naughty boys'.
The Trinamool Congress had earlier approached the Election Commission against Dilip Ghosh and also demanded his immediate arrest. "We demand his immediate arrest for making such an inflammatory statement which will encourage trigger happy forces and threaten the safety of voters," news agency PTI quoted TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy as saying. Left Front leader Sujan Chakraborty, among others, had also condemned Ghosh for making the "irresponsible statements" and said that these remarks "unmask the fascist face of the BJP".