Vandalism of DM's Office: FIR Against Cong Minister

Union minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was today booked by police, a day after Congress workers vandalised the Murshidabad district magistrate's office in his presence, and remained defiant saying he stood by what he did and was ready to go to jail.

Police remained tightlipped whether an FIR was filed against Chowdhury but the Minister of State for Railways said tonight he is the accused No 1 in the list of the 12 identified accused against whom cases were filed in connection with the case of attack on government property. FIRs were also filed against around 1,200 Congress workers, Police said.

"The FIR is based on unmitigated falsehood at the behest of the ruling party(Trinamool Congress," said Chowdhury, a known baiter of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

"I stand by what I did. I am ready to face any consequence. I am ready to go to jail," he said.

"It was expected that a case will be filed against me. Earlier also I had faced a number of charges. I tried to pacify the mob. Everybody witnessed the role played by me. It was appreciated by local officials."

Chowdhury said he will continue his political agitation over the death of a Congress worker and accused the Trinamool Congress of following CPI-M's culture of "political vendetta".

He said West Bengal Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharjee, CLP leader and three MPs had gone to submit a memorandum to District Magistrate Rajiv Kumar, but were told that he was having lunch.

"How dare the DM refuse to meet the delegation? He challenged the authority of the Congress. If I were the chief minister, I would have suspended him," Chowdhury said.

Bhattacharjee told reporters in Kolkata that Kumar did not meet them and claimed no Congress worker was involved in the vandalism.

Defending Chowdhury, he said the minister of state for Railways had controlled the mob.

Murshidabad SP Humayun Kabir told reporters here that FIRs were registered against round 1,200 Congress workers for the rampage in the DM's office.

"We have asked for video footage. We will try to identify the persons present there and take action," he said.

Asked if Chowdhury's name figured in the FIRs, he said, "In the interest of the investigation it will not be proper to disclose any name."

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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