Bengal Cong spokesperson Kaustav Bagchi arrested for comments against Mamata Banerjee

Bagchi launched a counter press conference against the CM retaliating to her "personal attack" on Congress Committee President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury following the Sagardighi bypolls

West Bengal Congress spokesperson Kaustav Bagchi
West Bengal Congress spokesperson Kaustav Bagchi

NH Digital

West Bengal Congress spokesperson Kaustav Bagchi was on Saturday morning arrested from his residence for his alleged comments against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a senior police officer said.

A huge team of the city's Burtolla police station conducted a raid at Bagchi's residence at Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal at around 3.30 AM and arrested him, he said.

A complaint was lodged against Bagchi at Burtolla police station on Friday for his alleged comments against the CM.

"We have arrested Kaustav Bagchi from his residence in Barrackpore. We cannot talk much about it. Our officers are talking to him," the officer told PTI.

Bagchi, a lawyer had reacted sharply and allegedly criticised the CM and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee for her "personal attacks" on West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury after the Congress' win in the Sagardighi bypolls on Thursday.

Bagchi called a counter press conference against Banerjee where he referred to a book written by former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Deepak Kumar Ghosh, which reportedly has some references about the personal life of the CM.

He said that since Banerjee had initiated the "personal attack" on Congress by referring to a sensitive matter such as Chowdhury's daughter's suicide, he would now counter it by circulating the soft copy of Ghosh's book through WhatsApp.

The arrest has evoked major criticism from different corners, since it came less than 48 hours after the Left Front-supported Congress Baryon Biswas defeated the TMC candidate Debasish Bandopadhyay by a heavy margin of 23,000 votes in the bypolls.

After the arrest, Bagchi was brought to Burtolla Police Station even as party workers staged a protest outside the police station.

"After conducting a search operation virtually ransacking my residence for almost five hours, they finally arrested me. I am being harassed because of speaking the truth about the Chief Minister," said Bagchi.

Bagchi has been booked under several sections of the IPC including 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and other sections, he added.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) leadership has expressed solidarity towards Bagchi over the development.

The lawyers' cell of CPI(M) has sent a communication to the Congress leadership to provide full legal support to Bagchi in the matter.

Bagchi will be presented at a lower court in Kolkata on Saturday afternoon.

With inputs from agencies

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