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WB: ISF MLA Naushad Siddiqi and 17 Others Sent to Nine-Day Police Custody in Esplanade Incident

Charges include illegal assembly, destroying government property and attempting to murder police persons on duty.
 Footwears lie on a road after clashes between ISF members and the police following their rally, in Kolkata, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.

Footwears lie on a road after clashes between ISF members and the police following their rally, in Kolkata, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. Image Courtesy:PTI

Kolkata: In an unprecedented incident, the lone Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the Indian Secular Front (ISF)- Noushad Siddiqui and 17 of his party workers, were sent to nine days of police custody. Police have pressed charges on the ISF leader which include illegal assembly,  destroying government property and even attempting to murder police persons on duty. 

On Saturday Police arrested Noushad Siddiqui and 19 other ISF workers who had assembled at Dorina crossing at Dharmatolla on the occasion of the inception of their political party. On Sunday when the MLA was produced in Bankshal court, he was sent to police custody upto February 1. The Government pleader opposed the bail of leaders in the court. 

In another development, on the morning hours of Sunday at a vegetable farm behind Bhangar, a Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Arabul Islam’s house, about 16 live crude bombs, one firearm and a live cartridge were recovered. Last Saturday, ISF workers resisted attempts of hooliganism by the TMC leader Arabul Islam and his team in Hatishala of Bhangar when the ISF workers were going to Kolkata to observe the inception day of their political organisation through a bus.

Later at the Esplanade area of Kolkata, the ISF workers protested demanding justice for them and the arrest of TMC hooligans. The police then brutally lathi-charged the huge gathering of ISF workers assembled there. The Bhangar leather complex police station arrested a number of workers while they were returning after joining the inception programme of their party.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M) Central committee member Dr Sujan Chakraborty told reporters that what happened in Bhangar is a shame to democracy in the state. “In broad daylight before the police, TMC hooligans had attacked ISF  workers at Hatishala area of Bhangar where only months earlier a CPI(M) rally was also attacked.” He added that the TMC believes that under their rule, they can take the law into their own hands. “Police is in an outright way helping the TMC hooligans,” he said. 

Pleading on behalf of the accused  ISF workers in Bankshal Court, Advocate Yasin Rehman said police had lodged a spurious case against the political workers. “Police even beat up MLA Noushad Siddiqi and his vehicle was damaged. Hence, they should be relieved of the case,” the advocate said. However, the government pleader was firmly against granting bail to the accused persons.

The TMC workers, time and again after the last assembly election, have clashed with ISF workers in a violent bid to reclaim their lost ground after the loss to ISF leader  Noushad Siddiqi in the last assembly election. ISF fought the last election in association with the Left Front and emerged victorious from the  Bhangar seat.

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