Kolkata: A BJP leader in Birbhum in West Bengal was arrested alongwith two youth by the police for allegedly staging the abduction of his daughter with the help of Trinamul Congress MLA of Labhpur Monirul Islam hours after she was rescued by the police from Malda early on Sunday. Suprobhat Batabyal, the main accused, is the father of Prothoma Batabyal who was allegedly kidnapped four days ago in Labhpur.
In a dramatic twist Trinamul Congress district president Anubrata Mondal directly accused party MLA Monirul Islam, known for his rivalry with Mr Mondal, of his role in the abduction. He declared that Mr Islam helped Mr Batabyal, who has switched to the BJP from the Trinamul, in kidnapping his daughter. Before joining the Trinamul, Mr Batabyal was a CPI(M) district committee member.
He was detained by the police on Saturday night for questionning. The BJP leader was cross-examined with Mr Islam by the cops also. Apart from Mr Batabyal the two other arrested are Raju Sardar and Dipankar Mondal. Both are from Naxalbari in Darjeeling. They were caught during Prothoma's rescue by the police as they had her captive at a place.
On February 13 evening when Prothoma was alone at home, a gang of miscreants came on three motorcycles. They stormed her home, held her at gun-point and took her away forcibly. When a police team reached the Batabyals' residence, they faced protests from angry villagers who resorted to violence at Kirnahar and Labhpur areas next day. Shops
were closed. Roads were blocked by setting tyres on fire in the middle in protest.
Mr Batabyal lodged a complaint of abduction with the police. The Trinamul MLA's residence at Indus also came under attack as angry villagers pelted stones on it suspecting his role behind the abduction. When Mr Islam visited the area, he was heckled by the people who also pelted stones on his car. Mr Islam and his son had to take shelter at a police station.
Training guns on Mr Islam Mr Mondal alleged, "The MLA was harrassed. But he is not above all just because he is our party MLA. The BJP claimed that the Trinamul workers kidnapped the young woman. But it was false. The young woman's father and BJP leaders were involved in the abduction which was carried by three youth at gun-point. The blame on the Trinamul followed next."
He claimed, "The woman was found yesterday. She has confessed that her father and Moni uncle asked her to go. Moni uncle is the MLA. He is not a big lord. I always speak the truth. There were also other BJP leaers including Debashish Ojha who conspired. But it did not succeed because the district is Birbhum."
Additional superintendent of police Tanmoy Sarkar said, "The abduction was staged with a political motive. We have evidence that Mr Batabyal met the two other accused many times. He met them a day before February 13."