Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal legislative assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, complained to Union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Tuesday that some Indian Police Service (IPS) officers in the eastern state were reportedly fabricating charges against him at the instruction of top Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders, including chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Banerjee is also in charge of the state’s home department.
“I told him how some IPS officers are fabricating cases against me and restricting my movements at the instruction of Mamata Banerjee and her nephew. Amit Shah Ji went through details of the cases filed in every part of Bengal,” Adhikari told reporters after a 30-minute interaction with Shah at the Parliament House. He did not take the name of Abhishek Banerjee.
“I cannot disclose every detail of the one-on-one interaction since I am a disciplined soldier of the party,” Adhikari said.
The BJP leader presented to Shah an eight-page booklet in Hindi that had details of the 26 first information reports (FIRs) filed against him since 2020 when he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after resigning from the TMC.
The booklet is titled 1956, indicating the margin by which Adhikari defeated Mamata Banerjee in the 2021 assembly poll at East Midnapore’s Nandigram constituency. She had to win a by-poll at Kolkata’s Bhawanipore to continue as chief minster.
“Although the Calcutta high court has granted me a shield from arrest in these cases, the Bengal government has moved the Supreme Court several times. But the apex court referred the petitions back to the high court indicating that my argument deserves hearing,” Adhikari told the media in Delhi.
Adhikari said he also met vice-president of India Jagdeep Dhankhar and BJP national president J P Nadda and exchanged pleasantries with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who spotted him at the Parliament central hall.
On December 16, the Calcutta high court did not pass any order on a Bengal government petition seeking permission to file an FIR against Adhikari in connection with the December 14 stampede that claimed three lives. The single bench of justice Jay Sengupta permitted the local police only to carry out a preliminary investigation.
The development took place a day after the Supreme Court asked the state government to approach the bench of the Calcutta high court chief justice with its plea seeking modification of the December 8 order of high court judge Rajasekhar Mantha that imposed stay on police proceedings in all FIRs filed against Adhikari.
Justice Mantha’s order also said no fresh FIR can be lodged without the court’s permission.
Adhikari said in his petition that 26 FIRs were filed against him on frivolous charges to cause harassment. He appealed that either the cases be quashed or allowed to be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Targeting Adhikari, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the BJP leader met the Union home minister to beg for relief in the Narada case the CBI is probing.
“Did the list he presented to Shah include the Narada case in which he was named in the CBI’s FIR? He went to Delhi to polish Shah’s shoes,” said Ghosh.