Kolkata: A member of the West Bengal child’s rights body and a known “TMC intellectual” Prasun Bhoumick took to Facebook to warn people of Bengal against switching off lights on Sunday at 9 PM. Also Read - Coronavirus in Karnataka: Health Minister Sriramulu Attends Procession, Social Distancing Norms Flouted | Watch
He warned that those who will not pay heed to it, their residences will be marked by a chalk. This led the opposition BJP to call it an intimidation tactic. Also Read - Who is Adesh Kumar Gupta? Know in Details About The New BJP Chief of Delhi
Bhoumick put out a Facebook post in Bengali that read as, “Those who will switch off their lights at 9 PM on 5.4.20…their homes will be marked with chalk. At least, their addresses will be put in a list”. He concluded by saying, ‘Hail Bangla, Hail Marjina’.” Also Read - Actor-politician Manoj Tiwari Replaced as Delhi BJP Chief, Adesh Kumar Gupta Takes Charge
On Friday morning, PM Modi shared a short video clip, as announced by him earlier on Thursday, urging all to light diyas or candles or even flash flights in their balconies or outside their main gate, as a mark of respect to the Corona Warriors – doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and police personnel who are braving it out on the front lines.
“I request all of you to switch off all the lights of your house on 5 April at 9 PM for 9 minutes, and just light a candle, ‘diya’, or mobile’s flashlight, to mark our fight against coronavirus,” he said.
This blatant warning assumes significance, given the power Bhoumick yields. He was a member of the West Bengal Commission of Protection of Child Rights in May 2019 (He continues to be in that post), when the child rights body had “took cognizance of ” molestation allegation against the BJP candidate from Diamond Harbour, just days before the constituency went to polls in the general elections.
The WBCPCR demanded immediate action against BJP candidate Nilanjan Roy.
However, what’s interesting is that the TMC candidate from that very seat was CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee himself.
Back then, calling it a “a conspiracy to malign”, BJP leader Mukul Roy had accused the WBCPCR of being part of the conspiracy as the Commission members like Bhoumick and June Maliya have been seen campaigning for the ruling Trinamool Congress. This allegation was reported in May last year by IANS.A
When contacted, Bhoumick brushed it aside as him exercising his freedom of expression. “Of course it’s a political post,” he conceded. He argued that the call for switching off lights by the Prime Minister has given rise to concern among many about grid failure. When pressed on whether it was an intimidation tactic, he explained this to be an analogy drawn from the folktale Alibaba, where houses are marked with chalks. But said, he has a right to express himself.
But, BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta calls it “hate speech at its best”. He demanded that the police act against Bhoumick for this act. “This is the political culture of West Bengal that lets people like Prasun Bhoumick believe such open threats are mens of legitimate politics. It’s an open threat. I think it should be acted upon”, Dasgupta told IANS.
(With IANS inputs)