The Tripura High Court on Wednesday refused to put a stay on the investigation against TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and five others for allegedly obstructing police officers from performing their duties, and asked the state government to justify within two weeks why the case should not be quashed. A complaint has been registered in Tripura against Banerjee, MP Dola Sen, West Bengal education minister Bratya Basu, TMC’s Tripura leader Subal Bhowmick and two others under section 186 of the IPC for allegedly coming in the way of the police who were carrying out their duties.
Senior TMC leader Subal Bhowmick subsequently filed a plea before the court seeking dismissal of the case and a stay on the investigation against the TMC leaders.
Justice A A Kureshi, while hearing the case, asked the state government to file a reply in two weeks on why the case should not be dismissed, and asked the police to continue with the investigation.
The judge, however, maintained that the police should not submit its final report without consulting the court. Kiran Kumar, the superintendent of police (SP) in Khowai district, had said that a suo moto complaint was filed on August 10 against the TMC leaders, who “misbehaved” with officers on duty two days ago.
“We booked them on August 10 under Section 186 (obstruction of public servants in the discharge of his public function) and 36 (common intention) of the IPC. The FIR pertains to entry into the Khowai police station. They will be summoned,” the SP had stated.
At least 14 leaders and workers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) were arrested in Khowai district on August 8, including those injured in an alleged attack by BJP men the day before, for “flouting COVID-19 norms”.
Shortly after, the party’s national general secretary, who is also West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and the de facto number 2 in the party, flew to Agartala from Bengal to meet the apprehended workers in Khowai police station. Those arrested were later produced before a local court, which granted them bail.
In a video that went viral on social media, the TMC national general secretary was seen raising his finger to enquire why his supporters were arrested “after having faced assaults”. According to the police, the 14 TMC members were nabbed for venturing out after the imposition of night curfew at 7 pm, in violation of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Bhowmik, when approached by reporters during the day, said, “We are happy that the high court has admitted the case. Let the police investigate… the truth will come out.”