A lavish lunch of mutton curry and rice for detained BJP leaders and workers at a police station in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri has caused controversy.
Reports said that after around 30 BJP leaders were detained during a protest against the death of MLA Debendra Nath Ray, they were served a lavish lunch of mutton curry and rice at the Kotwali police station on Tuesday.
As photos of the incident became public, it left both the BJP and the police red-faced.
The Telegraph quoted BJP’s Jalpaiguri district president Bapi Goswami as saying, “We will talk to those who had lunch at the police station on Tuesday. The policemen might have offered it but they should have instead rejected the lunch as they were arrested during a protest against suspected murder of a party MLA. The act of our party workers has not gone down well with senior BJP leaders.”
The report said it was likely that the local police of the area wanted to be in the good books of the BJP.
The Telegraph report said that Biswasroy Sarkar, the inspector-in-charge, was transferred to East Midnapore and a senior police official, who was not named, said that such things would not be tolerated.
While mutton curry and rice is soul food for Bengalis, this incident is ironic as BJP leaders in most parts of the country propagate vegetarianism. Even in Bengal, right-wing trolls have tried to spread anti-fish propaganda (read more here).
Sangbad Pratidin quoted Manash Mustafi, BJP’s Mazdoor Morcha president as saying, “After being arrested, we were taken to the police station. They asked us what we wanted to eat, so we said we wanted mutton curry and rice. They made the arrangements. We were happy.”
On Tuesday, the BJP had called a 12-hour bandh in north Bengal after Ray, an MLA from Hemtabad, was found dead near his home.
Reports said that protesters and the police had clashed in several places even as roads were blocked in several areas.
PTI reported the police as saying a total of 33 people were detained for trying to enforce the shutdown in different districts of the region.
The BJP took out a rally in support of the shutdown in Jalpaiguri town, while the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal organised a march opposing it.
Goswami claimed that there was total shutdown in the district. But, former TMC MP Bijoy Chandra Burman said that some shops remaining closed did not mean people have supported the bandh.
Read the entire report on The Telegraph here.