Nadia BJP Leader Arrested For Extortion Assault

Accused Pradip Sarkar with BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Thursday in Phulia

Phulia, Sept. 15: Police on Friday arrested a BJP Mandal committee president from Nadia’s Phulia allegedly for beating up a businessman as he refused to contribute to the party fund to organize a public meeting of party leader Suvendu Adhikari. 

Businessman Sujan Joardar, who is also a social activist, lodged a complaint with the Santipur police on Thursday against accused BJP leader Pradip Sarkar and his brother Sudip, who with the support of some close aides thrashed him ruthlessly on Wednesday night after he refused to shell out money to the party fund. 

Acting on the complaint, Santipur police on Friday picked up Pradip from his home. He will be produced before the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Ranaghat on Saturday, police said.

Superintendent of police of Ranaghat police District Kumar Sunny Raj said the accused was arrested after the complaint was “found genuine”.

“The accused entered the house of a person and made an extortion threat. He subsequently had beaten up him. We started a case of criminal trespass and extortion threats. A complaint was received and action was taken accordingly. We investigated the allegation and it was found to be genuine”, the SP told The NfN.

However, the brother of the BJP leader, Sudip Sarkar, a co-accused in the case could not be arrested so far as he went absconding. “We are also trying to find out him”, the SP added.

On Wednesday evening victim Sujan Joardar, 35, a resident of Belgoria village, who owns a battery factory, suffered facial injuries as the BJP’s local Mandal committee president Pradip and his brother Sudip Sarkar thrashed him ruthlessly because he refused to shell out a donation to the party fund apparently to organize Suvendu Adhikari’s event under party’s Meri Mati Meri Desh” programme.

Some BJP supporters rescued a bleeding Joardar from the clutches of the two siblings and took him to the local primary health centre for treatment. Joardar suffered grievous injuries on his face as his nose suffered a fracture and the teeth of his lower jaw were dislocated.

Top Trinamul leadership made it an issue to focus on what they termed as “BJP’s extortion tactics” to satisfy its political agenda.

Women, Child Development and Social Welfare Minister Sashi Panja, who is also party spokesperson condemned the incident and assured justice to the victim, while indirectly blaming BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.

Speaking at a news conference about the incident in Calcutta on Friday, she said, “What we see is this happening under the patronage of the leader of the opposition in Bengal Suvendu Adhikari…So ultimately BJP is resorting to the extortion tactic to fulfill their political desire and the entire business community in the locality has been complaining of consistent extortion by the BJP leaders”. “We condemn the incident and assure justice to the businessman”, she added.

Meanwhile, BJP’s Bengal president Sukanta Majumdar ordered an internal probe into the matter. Speaking to the reporters in Krishnanagar on Friday, he said, “I have instructed the district committee president to set up a probe committee, which should examine the veracity of the complaint”

“We will examine if the allegation against the person is genuine or just aimed to frame him. If it is found that the person has been implicated, the party will stand by his side, else the law will take its own course of action”, Bengal BJP chief told the reporters.

Meanwhile, local businessmen expressed their satisfaction over the arrest of the BJP leader alleging that political extortion became a rampant affair by a section of saffron party leaders after it won the Santipur Panchayat samity.

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