EC issues notice to BJP leader Sayantan Basu for remarks over Cooch Behar CRPF firing incident
The Election Commission on Thursday issued a notice to BJP leader Sayantan Basu for making inflammatory remarks at a poll rally in North 24 Parganas' Baranagar on April 11. The poll panel in its notice said that Basu’s speech can be perceived as an ‘open threat to Bengal and its people.’ Basu had made remarks with connection to the deaths of five civilians in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi.
The poll panel highlighted that while addressing a rally in Baranagar Basu had said, “I, Sayantan Basu, am here to tell you that don't try to play too much. We will play the game of Sitalkuchi. They killed 18-year-old Ananda Barman, a first-time voter, in the morning. He was the brother of the BJP worker Shakti Pramukh. We did not have to wait for long… Four of them were shown the way to heaven. There is a dialogue in the film ‘Sholay’ -- if you kill one, we will kill four of you. Shitalkuchi witnessed it: If you kill one, we will kill four of you.”
The Election Commission said that it found Basu’s speech to be in violation of the model code of conduct and provisions of the Representation of the People Act along with the Indian Penal Code.
The Election Commission has given Basu 24 hours to clarify his stand over his speech. The Trinamool Congress on Monday had approached the Election Commission over BJP leaders making statements over the incident of firing in Sitalkuchi during Phase 4 of assembly polls which led to the death of five people in two different incidents.
The Trinamool Congress urged the EC to take strict action against the BJP leaders making such comments. “The top brass of the BJP has been actively condoning the murder and brazenly suggesting that more innocent lives should have been lost at the hands of central armed police forces,” TMC had written in its letter to West Bengal chief electoral officer Ariz Aftab.
During the Phase 4 polls in Sitalkuchi, a mob attacked the central force personnel following which the security personnel opened fire in self-defence killing four of them. In another incident, a first-time voter, Ananda Barman, was shot dead by miscreants on his way home.
Bengal has held four phases of eight-phase polls while the next phase of the election is scheduled for April 17. Votes will be counted on May 2.