Trinamool Congress (TMC) Youth President Saayoni Ghosh was granted bail on Monday, 22 November, after being arrested by Tripura Police on Sunday on charges of promoting enmity between people, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy.
A First Information Report (FIR) was also registered against Ghosh, who was in the state to campaign for the upcoming state elections.
On Saturday, Ghosh had allegedly disturbed a municipal poll rally of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and state Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb at Ashram Chowmuhani area.
In a video of the incident that had surfaced online, Ghosh could be seen saying "khela hobe" from a car as it crosses a gathering that was reportedly being addressed by Biplab Deb.
"I have been charged with attempt to murder just for saying khela hobe," Ghosh said.
What the Police Said
Ramesh Yadav, the Sub Divisional Police Officer, Sadar, said both BJP and TMC have been denied permissions to hold rallies in Agartala on Monday, 22 November, in view of the escalating tension in the city, reported ANI.
"No permission for roadshow/rally either for BJP or TMC in Agartala today. Permission for street corner meets granted to both. TMC hasn't intimated to us the time when they're going to organise the street corner meet," he said.
On Sunday, West Tripura Additional SP Jagadish Reddy, while addressing the media, had said:
“We received a complaint against her and summoned her for interrogation. After recording the statement of witnesses, we found evidence that she had involvement in connection with the case registered under Sections 153, 153A, 307 and 120B of the IPC. So, we have arrested her. We shall produce her before the court tomorrow Monday, 22 November,” reported the The Indian Express.
According to East Mojo, based on a complaint of a BJP worker, the police visited the hotel where Ghosh was staying on 20 November and told her to report to the police station for questioning. When other party workers arrived at the station they found out that Ghosh had been arrested.
The police official added that the police was also trying to arrest the four people who were in the car along with Ghosh. The police confirmed that Ghosh was not driving the vehicle but did not clarify "how she attempted to murder someone or whom she tried to kill", reported the daily.
What the TMC Says
Ghosh's TMC colleagues say that Ghosh was "being framed in a false case as part of a premeditated conspiracy," reported the daily.
“This is a baseless allegation. Saayoni is a known face. Spotting her in a car, someone said ‘didi, khela hobe’ (Sister, game is on). She said ‘haan, khela hobe’. This can’t be the ground for a case and arrest. She was arrested in an ugly way and now the police aren’t producing her in court. So, we can’t move for bail,” West Bengal TMC general secretary Kunal Ghosh said.
Deb also alleged that a group of "BJP sheltered goons" had attacked party workers outside East Agartala Women’s police station when TMC leader Saayoni Ghosh was brought there for interrogation.
“This entire case is concocted. We shall legally fight it. We are with Saayoni. She is a brave girl,” Deb said.
Meanwhile, TMC leader and Rajyasabha MP Sushmita Deb said there was a false case against Ghosh.
"They vandalised the PS and attacked us twice yesterday. The DGP and IGP are not available on phone. Apparently, the DGP is in some conference with the PM, whereas his state is in chaos. Clearly, the law and order situation is not a priority for the government," she said, as per ANI.
"Our workers have been beaten, our cars have been broken; there's a false case against Saayoni Ghosh and we expect protection from the Tripura police."
What BJP Claims
EastMojo quoted BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya as saying, “Our karyakartas did not attack anyone from TMC ever, because we do not consider them as a political opponent to reckon with. But, I would like to remind them that they should be careful about using their words, which are unbecoming."
The case will be heard in court on 22 November. Abhishek Banerjee, along with 15 other TMC MLAs, have decided to sit on a dharna against her arrest.
Later on Monday, BJP MP Locket Chatterjee spoke to news agency ANI and said, "Khela Hobe means the death of over 60 workers, migration of over 1 lakh workers, it means gangrape and atrocity on women. If this is the definition of Khela Hobe in Bengal, then there will be no Khela Hobe in Tripura. We want Vikas Hobe."
She added that if Mamata Banerhee is the face of Opposition in 2021, it will be an election between violence and an "ideal personality like PM Modi".
(With inputs from ANI, The Indian Express and East Mojo.)