KOLKATA: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, in a meeting with DGP and senior officers in police administration, directed the state police not to permit radical outfits to hold rallies or processions in the state. In her instructions, she said no disruptive forces in the garb of an organisation will be allowed to hold public gatherings.
Mamata’s instruction is said to be in the wake of Asaduddin Owaisi’s announcement that his party, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) , would venture into Bengal politics contest in the 2021 Assembly elections, which could heavily dent Trinamool’s minority vote-bank.“Owaisi’s venture into Bengal politics is a threat to our party’s minority vote-share,’’ said a Trinamool leader.
Bengal has nearly 30 per cent vote-share of Muslim electors and a majority of it is considered as Mamata’s vote-bank.
AIMIM spokesperson Wasim Waqar and party in-charge of West Bengal, said that their party is all set to contest the 2021 Assembly elections. “We have already covered 15 of 23 districts in Bengal,’’ he added.
A reflection of Mamata’s instruction to restrict ‘radical groups’ from organising rallies was visible on Wednesday when a group of Hindu Jagaran Mancha supporters assembled to take out a procession. Police intervened and resorted to lathi-charge before arresting more than 50 supporters.
Elaborating how the administration will identify an organisation as a radical one, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said, “It is solely our discretion. If we find any organisation is organising a rally to create unrest and address to a particular community, we will identify it as a radical one.’’
The AIMIM wrote a letter to Kolkata Police seeking permission for organising a mega rally at Kolkata’s iconic Brigade Parade ground either in end December or early January.