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Calcutta HC shields BJP legislators from arrest in National Anthem insult case

Kolkata: A single-judge Bench of the Calcutta High Court, on Monday granted protection against any coercive action, including arrest, to BJP legislators against whom Kolkata Police have registered an FIR on charges of insulting the National Anthem.

Justice Jay Sengupta questioned the complaint by three Trinamool Congress legislators on the basis of which the FIR was filed against the BJP legislators.

According to the FIR, the BJP legislators started shouting “thieves”, “thieves” at a time when the Trinamool Congress legislators were singing the National Anthem at the end of their protest within the Assembly premises against non-payment of central dues.

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Justice Sengupta questioned the justification of singing the National Anthem while the protest was on. “What will happen if anyone starts singing the National Anthem within this court now?” Justice Sengupta asked.

The incident occurred on November 29 when Trinamool Congress legislators sporting black shirts and led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, were protesting near the statue of BR Ambedkar within the Assembly premises.

Towards the end of the protest, a group of BJP MLAs led by the Leader of Opposition (LoP) arrived at the Assembly premises. The legislators, including the LoP, were seen shouting “thieves”, “thieves” while pointing at the protesting demonstrations.

Later the Chief Minister complained to the Speaker that the BJP legislators were raising derogatory slogans while the ruling party MLAs, were singing the National Anthem, deeming it an insult.

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