KOLKATA: Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Friday accused West Bengal Police of "arresting" party spokesperson Samanay Bandopadhyay for circulating posts critical of the TMC government.
Family members and Congress sources said, Bandopadhyay was "arrested" by a team of Purulia district police from his home in North 24 Parganas district on Thursday evening.
The West Bengal police and Purulia district police neither confirmed nor denied having arrested or detained Bandopadhyay.
"We will get back to you," a senior official of Purulia police said, when inquired about the alleged arrest.
Bandopadhyay is known for his staunch criticism of the TMC government through his social media posts.
"The arrest of Samanay Bandopadhyay is a classic example of intolerance of the highest order. Samanay was arrested from his home for criticising the state government.
Such blatant attack on the freedom of speech and expression by the Trinamool Congress government will not stop us from protesting against the ruling dispensation.
We condemn such undemocratic assault on the freedom of speech and political terrorism unleashed by Mamata Banerjee government," Chowdhury said.
Reacting to the allegations, senior TMC leader and party chief whip in state Assembly, Nirmal Ghosh said, "Samanay has been arrested as there were several criminal charges against him. It has nothing to do with criticism of the state government."
The BJP leadership in the state also slammed the state government for arresting the Congress leader for "criticising the state government".
Family members of Samanay claimed that he was arrested on Thursday evening by a police team from Purulia.
"They just came and took him away to Purulia on the charges of circulating posts against the state government," his brother Tanmay Bandopadhyay said.
The CPI(M) and Congress activists on Friday staged a protest rally outside Khardah police station against the alleged arrest.
Bandopadhyay's house at Sodepur falls under the jurisdiction of Khardah police station.
The incident is reminiscent of the arrest of Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra in April 2012 for posting cartoons of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the internet.