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Four arrested for raising ‘goli maaro’ slogan in Kolkata

Kolkata, March 3 (IANS) | Publish Date: 3/3/2020 12:56:41 PM IST

Four persons have been arrested so far in connection with the incendiary “goli maaro” slogan raised by a group of people going to Union Home Minister and former BJP national president Amit Shah’s rally two days back, police said on Tuesday.

While three people were arrested from the city’s New Market police station area on Monday morning, later another person was rounded up from Ghola in 24 Parganas (North) district in the night.

A group of people, some of them wearing kurta, and carrying BJP flags, raised the provocative slogan calling for shooting the traitors while going in a procession towards the rally venue in central Kolkata.

Cases under sections 153 A(Promoting enmity between different groups),34 (common intent), 505 (public mischief) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code have been slapped against the accused.

The three arrested from the city are Surendra Kumar Tiwary, Pankaj Prashad and Dhruba Basu. A BJP leader Sujit Barua was nabbed during a joint operation by personnel of New Market and Ghola police stations.

Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma in a statement said the arrests were made following a complaint lodged at the New Market police station that “some persons allegedly shouted provocative slogans having potential to disturb public tranquility from a procession while going to attend a political rally”.

“The video footage of the said procession was analysed and the persons shouting the provocative slogans identified,” following which raids were held and the arrests made.

“Further raids to arrest the remaining accused persons is on,” Sharma said in a statement.

Issuing a strong warning, the police commissioner said officers-in-charge of all police stations have been instructed to initiate strong legal action against anybody trying to incite people.

“In the recent a number of rallies, meetings processions were held in the city, with different police parties, groups and organisations each representing their viewpoint.

“The situation in the city has remained completely peaceful. OCs of police stations have been directed to initiate Strong legal action against any person who tries to provoke or instigate in any way which may lead to a breach in peace,” the statement said.

Referring to the slogan issue at a political programme on Monday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: “The language is inflammatory, illegal and demonic. Legal action will be taken against them. Nobody will be spared”.

Banejee said it was for the people to decide “who is a gaddar (traitor) and who is not”.

However, state governor Jagdeep Dhankhar refused to attach any importance to the slogan.

“If suppose there are 1,000 people and one person says somethinga that’s 100 per cent for youa for me that’s .01 per cent. It’s a country of great positivitya its a very large country,” Dhankhar told mediapersons here.

He went on to appeal to the media to be “proportionate and get away from sensation.

“It’s time to be very, very responsible in public life,” he said.

The slogan was first chanted at a public rally addressed by Union Minister and BJP leader Anurag Thakur on January 27 in Delhi’s Rithala area. Thakur had allegedly egged on his audience to respond to the slogan.

Thakur was then barred from campaigning by the Election Commission for 72 hours in the run-up to the February 8 Delhi Assembly polls.

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