BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and two other party leaders were on Friday, 7 February, stopped by police in Kolkata from taking out a pro-CAA rally and were taken into preventive custody.
Police said the rally, scheduled to start at 2 PM, was being held without permission, but the saffron party asserted that it has informed the authorities about it.
Later in the evening, police released Vijayvargiya and the two other leaders, Mukul Roy and Joy Prakash Majumder.
The Mamata Banerjee government has started an "autocratic" rule in West Bengal but the BJP cannot be intimidated, Vijayvargiya said.
“We were taking out a rally in support of the CAA which has received overwhelming support from all over the country. But the police of Mamata Banerjee is not allowing us to take out a peaceful, democratic rally,”Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP National General Secretary
Vijayvargiya said they did not resist being taken to the city police headquarters "as we believe in democratic protest."
Police sources said the three, along with several supporters, were taken into custody as the party was organising the rally without permission.
BJP sources, however, said they had given prior intimation to police for the rally from Tollygunje phari to Hazra Crossing.
Vijayvargiya later tweeted a video recorded inside a police station.
“Today in kolkata #CAA I had a rally in support of. Police me and mr @MukulR_Official G is arrested and taken to Lal Bazar Police Headquarters. What is the crime that we were arrested for rallying in support of a law passed in Parliament ?”
"We have been kept in a Kolkata Police lock-up for taking part in a pro-CAA rally. Mukul Roy is with me. This is a historic lock-up in Kolkata in which freedom fighters like Shri Jatin Das and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were," the senior BJP leader said in the video.
Reacting to the incident, senior Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim said the BJP is trying to disturb law and order situation in the state.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act has been the latest political flashpoint in West Bengal, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is among the most vocal critics of the saffron party, opposing it tooth and nail while the BJP is keen on implementing it in the state.
On the National Population Register, the TMC has claimed that the BJP is trying to "fool and cheat" the people of the country as the NPR is the "first step towards NRC".