The BJP on Friday demanded the suspension of Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police (South) Akash Magharia in a complaint to the Election Commission (EC), alleging that he assaulted its Bhawanipore bypoll candidate Priyanka Tibrewal and state president Sukanta Majumdar during a protest at Kalighat, near chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence.
Alleging that apart from Majumdar, who is also a Lok Sabha MP, two other parliamentarians – Jyotirmoy Singh Mahato and Arjun Singh – were physically assaulted on Thursday evening during the funeral procession with the body of a BJP leader, it demanded the removal of Magharia from election duty. The BJP, in the representation to the EC, alleged that the police officer “molested and inappropriately manhandled Priyanka Tibrewal”.
Magharia denied the allegation of assault on Tibrewal, who is pitted against Banerjee, the TMC candidate in the Bhawanipore by-election. “It is in the public domain. This is a baseless allegation. You can see the video footage. I have not even touched her. I was standing quite at a distance,” the police officer said.
During the funeral procession of BJP’s Magrahat West candidate Manas Saha, the party leaders stopped on Kalighat bridge, a few hundred metres from Miss Banerjee’s residence, and Majumdar and Mahato sat on the road in front of the hearse.
The BJP alleged that Saha had succumbed to injuries sustained in “post-poll atrocity committed by TMC”. The representation, signed by Purulia MP Jyotirmoy Singh Mahato, Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh and party leader Shishir Bajoria, claimed that the police action was unprovoked.
They alleged that the police action on the funeral procession was led by Magharia “at the behest of the party in power”. “Hence we demand that the DCP South, Akash Magharia and Kolkata Police officers, present be identified and immediately (sic) removed from election duty, appropriate proceedings, including suspension, be initiated,” the BJP said in its complaint to the EC.