The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Bengal president just joined a long list of politicians making irresponsible and incendiary statements, even as public opinion on what constitutes dissent remains split.
Addressing a protest rally at Siuri, the capital of Birbhum, Dilip Ghosh said anyone raising slogans of 'Pakistan Zindabad' will be "shortened by six inches", or in common parlance, beheaded. Meanwhile, several news reports suggested that a pamphlet allegedly issued by Birbhum BJP district committee called for "Hindu unity" in the face of violence at Illambazar.
A mob allegedly attacked a police station and damaged vehicles in Illambazar and Dubrajpur areas of Birbhum district on 1 March after a college student made an "objectionable" Facebook post. A crowd gheraoed the house of the college student, Sujan Mukherjee, a third year student who was arrested and taken to the Illambazar police station.
PTI reported that the mob damaged the police station and police vehicles following which the police used tear gas shells to disperse it. The mob then put up a road blockade in NH-60 and damaged several vehicles. The accused was charged with various sections of the IT Act and Indian Penal Code and remanded to 14 days' judicial custody.
Ghosh alleged that Muslims "had surrounded the police station and attacked bystanders" and damaged government property, according to the Indian Express. The pamphlet claimed Hindu houses were also torched.
Ghosh was appointed as the new state president in December, 2015, replacing Rahul Sinha. An old RSS activist, he served as the state BJP general secretary and tasked with increasing the party's support base.
Ghosh's comments come even as Home Minister Rajnath Singh defended in Parliament the comments made by Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria in Agra alleging a conspiracy "against the Hindu community".
Katheria was speaking at the condolence meeting for murdered VHP leader Arun Mahaur.
(Inputs from PTI)
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