Defying prohibitory orders and attempts by police to stop him, Union Minister Babul Supriyo today met the family of girl who was found dead in an illegal coal mine here, prompting the West Bengal police to warn that action will be taken against him.
Lashing out, Supriyo, BJP Lok Sabha MP from Asansol, accused the police of acting as cadres of ruling Trinamool Congress in the state, where BJP leaders have been involved in such confrontations in recent weeks.
Suprioyo was travelling to Jamuria in his constituency along with party workers when he was stopped outside the area by police and Rapid Action Force personnel, who refused to let him enter saying Section 144 CrPC was in force there and that his presence would create tension.
Following this Babul Supriyo, who is the minister of state for urban development, along with others walked to the girl’s house and met her family. He promised to stand by them.
The 14 year-old girl’s body was found in an illegal coal mine yesterday, three days after she went missing. Locals and BJP members had demonstrated demanding immediate arrest of the culprit.
Police had arrested one of the demonstrators.
Siddhinath Gupta, Commissioner of Police, Asansol-Durgapur commisionerate said he and other senior police officers had requested the Union minister not to enter Jamuria as section 144 CR PC was on there but he did not pay heed.
“Babul Supriyo broke prohibitory orders. Steps will be taken against as per law against him,” Gupta added.
When contacted, Babul Supriyo told PTI, “The police tried to stop me by telling me that prohibitory order was in place in the area and that my presence in the area would flare up communal tension. I challenged the police to show how my presence would do so.
“The police is acting as cadres of TMC. They should cease to be TMC workers and discharge their duty.”
Earlier in the day, the minister, who was scheduled to be present at Union HRD minister Smriti Irani’s rally in Durgapur, left for Jamuria without attending it.
West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh said, “When Babul Supriyo tried to enter Jamuria, his car was stopped by police. Later on our party supporters and I personally came to the area and we walked to the girl’s house.
“We demand immediate police action into the incident and arrest of the culprits,” he added.
Early this month, a team of BJP MPs was denied permission to visit violence-hit Kaliachak in West Bengal’s Malda district, drawing a sharp attack from the party which accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of playing “vote bank” politics.
Earlier, ten members of a BJP delegation led by party MLA Samik Bhattacharya were arrested by the police while on their way to Kaliachak.