Bengal: Police arrest ISF MLA Nausad Siddique on way to Sandeshkhali

A Congress team heading towards Sandeshkhali was also stopped near Nazat, citing the imposition of prohibitory orders.
Women holding posters stage a protest demanding the arrest of local TMC leaders over Sandeshkhali incident allegations, in North 24 Parganas district
Women holding posters stage a protest demanding the arrest of local TMC leaders over Sandeshkhali incident allegations, in North 24 Parganas districtPTI

KOLKATA: ISF legislator Nausad Siddique was arrested here while he was on his way to trouble-torn Sandeshkhali in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, police said.

A Congress team heading towards Sandeshkhali was also stopped near Nazat, citing the imposition of prohibitory orders.

Siddique, the Bhangar MLA, was arrested near Science City in Kolkata under Section 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of cognisable offences) of the CrPC, a police officer said.

The North 24 Parganas district administration has imposed prohibitory orders in sensitive areas of Sandeshkhali to avert any untoward incident.

"I do not know why they have arrested me. This is several kilometres away from Sandeshkhali. I was going to Sandeshkhali to meet the villagers. I did not break any rule," Siddique told reporters.

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"They stopped me 62 km from Sandeshkhali, but they did not stop the two state ministers Partha Bhowmik and Sujit Bose when they went there. Police are preventing only the opposition from going to Sandeshkhali. What are they trying to hide?" the legislator questioned.

Siddique, accompanied by two of his security guards, reached Science City around 9 am when a huge contingent of Kolkata Police stopped him.

"Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been imposed in certain areas in Sandeshkhali. We cannot allow the disruption of law and order by allowing people to visit those areas. That's why he (Siddique) was stopped," a senior police officer told PTI.

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Siddique said he was scheduled to hold two programmes in Sandeshkhali.

The ISF MLA was taken to the Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar.

Criticising Siddique's arrest, senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty alleged that the police were working under the instruction of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

"This is ridiculous. How can they (police) arrest Nausad at a place which is more than 60 kilometres away from Sandeshkhali? He did not break any rule," Chakraborty said.

BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya hit out at the police administration, saying, "Under the TMC rule, lawlessness prevails in West Bengal. They (police) did the same thing with our leader (party state president) Sukanta Majumdar."

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