Bengal: Naqvi held briefly during Birbhum visit
Members of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) team were briefly arrested on Thursday as it tried to enter Makra village in Bengal where three persons were killed on Monday when alleged Trinamool Congress workers tried to recapture the village which has reportedly turned to the BJP since the Lok Sabha polls.
Party vice-president Mukthar Abbas Naqvi, Lok Sabha MPs Kirti Azad and Udit Raj, state party president Rahul Sinha and others allegedly tried to defy security restrictions to enter the village 200km away from Kolkata in south Bengal.
West Bengal's home department had this morning sent a fax to the BJP office in Kolkata, asking the politicians not to enter Makra and adjoining villages where Section 144, a law restricting the assembly of people, has been imposed.
"If the state government put half the effort they are putting in arresting us into curbing terrorism, the state of West Bengal would have been in a better condition," said Naqvi before being taken to a police station in a bus.
"The state government has clamped Section 144 to prevent us from entering the village. If the police allowed four of us to enter, it would not have violated the Section. The government is just trying to prevent the villagers from speaking to us and breaking its own law in the process," said Sinha.
"We have been stuffed in a bus. I can't even say how many of us have been arrested," said state BJP spokesperson Ritesh Tiwari over phone.
Hundreds of villagers protested against the police and demanded that they be allowed to speak to the BJP leaders. The BJP team came to Kolkata on Thursday morning and is supposed to go back and submit a report to party president Amit Shah.
Police released all the BJP leaders and supporters after half an hour.
On Wednesday, teams from the state Congress, state BJP and the Left parties were prevented from entering the village.
Watch:Naqvi held briefly in Bengal