West Bengal is going trough a phase of undeclared emergency, state BJP general secretary Jaiprakash Majumdar said today, referring to the arrests of state Congress spokesperson and Panihati Municipality councillor Sanmoy Bandopadhyay. A BJP delegation led by Mr Majumder today met Mr Bandopadhyay’s family members and assured them of help if needed. Senior Congress leader Mr Bandopadhyay was arrested by the police for allegedly circulating posts critical of the West Bengal government and accusing the ruling TMC of letting loose a reign of terror in the state.

“It is really unfortunate that a person has been arrested just for circulating posts criticising the state government. Such a thing used to happen during Emergency. It seems Bengal is going through undeclared emergency,” BJP state general secretary Jaiprakash Majumdar said. Mr Majumdar said police have become partisans of the TMC and they are being used to destroy Opposition movements.

“In West Bengal we have no right of freedom of expression. Goons of the TMC and police barged into the house of Sanmoy Bandopadhyay, beat him up and kidnapped him. Police even misbehaved with family members of Mr Bandopadhyay, when they visited the police station to find out the whereabout of Sanmoy. Anarchy is prevailing here. “BJP strongly condemn such acts of police and TMC goons. The state government is solely responsible for such act of police. The chief minister must give reply to people about what is happening here,” he said. The Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, yesterday had criticised the state government for the arrest.

Reacting to the criticisms, senior TMC leader and party chief whip in state Assembly Nirmal Ghosh said, “Sanmoy has been arrested as there are several criminal charges against him. It has nothing to do with criticism of the state government.” The incident is reminiscent of the arrest of Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra in April 2012 for posting cartoons of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the internet. Mr Bandopadhyay, the spokesperson of West Bengal Congress unit, was arrested on Thursday evening by the Purulia district police from his residence Khardah in North 24 Parganas district. He was accused of circulating posts on social media critical of the state government and was produced before the court which sent him to two days’ police custody on Friday.

Left Front and Congress supporters also put up road blocks to protest against his arrest. Yesterday CPI-M central committee member and MLA Sujan Chakraborty tweeted that “A journalist and senior politician Sanmoy Bandopadhyay, a crusader against the corrupt practices and foul plays of @MamataOfficial & nephew, is hounded, beaten and kidnapped by police and Gestapo’s of @AITC official last night. Fascistic rule @MamataOfficial, following @AmitShah really?”