Kolkata, Jul 3: West Bengal continued to be rocked by protests over Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul‘s hate speech, as students and youth wings of opposition parties took to the streets on Thursday.
Members of Students Federation of India – the Communist Party of India-Marxist students’ wing – took out a rally carrying posters and banners and blockaded the busy Moulali crossing in central Kolkata for some time.
They were demanding the arrest of Paul, whose rape remarks in a video footage have led to outrage across India. “We condemn the tasteless and provocative remarks made by Tapas Paul,” said a banner carried by SFI’s Kolkata district women members.
Members of the human rights cell of the Congress party also staged a demonstration at the same spot while the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha workers staged a protest in Murshidabad district’s Baharampur town.
Elected to parliament from Krishnanagar in Nadia district, Paul was caught on video tape threatening and warning CPI-M cadres to beware of him and that he would gun them down and unleash his men to rape their women.
Repeatedly using expletives to describe CPI-M activists, Paul even asked his party workers to prove themselves by slitting rivals’ throats and killing them. Drawing flak from all quarters, Paul later issued an apology terming his comments a “gross error of judgment” and “deeply insensitive”.
The Trinamool Congress said the matter has ended with Paul’s unconditional apology but opposition parties in the state are seeking administrative action, including the arrest of Paul, a leading actor of Bengali films.
There have also been calls for his expulsion from parliament.