The Calcutta High Court on Friday gave relief to Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari in connection with an incident involving a stampede in West Bengal’s Paschim Bardhaman district that claimed three lives. While Justice Jay Sengupta said that there is no urgency for the State to file a case against the Leader of Opposition, he ruled that the investigation in the case can continue.
The State government had on Thursday approached the Supreme Court seeking to lodge an FIR against Suvendu Adhikari in connection with the incident. It was seeking a modification of the Calcutta High Court’s order that had stayed the registration of FIRs against the Leader of Opposition. The Supreme Court refused to entertain the petition but suggested that the State government approach the Chief Justice of the High Court with its modification plea. Hence, the State approached the court on Thursday afternoon.
Three persons died on Wednesday evening at an event, organised by a BJP councilor of Asansol Municipal Corporation, in which Mr. Adhikari participated. The organisers distributed blankets to the poor at the event where a stampede broke out after Mr. Adhikari left the venue.
Meanwhile, the police from Asansol Durgapur Commissionerate arrested five persons in connection with the event. The FIR registered thereafter also mentions BJP leader and former Mayor of Asansol Municipal Corporation Jitendra Tiwari among others.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Tiwari said that the police complaint was a result of “political vendetta” of the ruling establishment.
Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that Mr. Adhikari can be arrested anytime. “According to law, in any registered case, if any co-accused takes his name under 161 or 164 (Sections of IPC), Police can summon him even arrest him without FIR. Example: Kunal Ghosh himself,” the Trinamool leader tweeted, referring to his own arrest in Sardha chit fund case in 2013.