“People speaking against BJP are either harassed by using agencies or are arrested”: Mamata Banerjee

News Desk: Addressing a meeting in Asansol on Tuesday, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee slammed center over arrest of social activist Teesta Setalvad and AltNews co-founder  Mohammad Zubair.

Without naming suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma, she said “No action is taken against those who spread hatred and violence. But action is taken against people like Teesta Setalvad and others. Why was she arrested? And why were others who spread fake news and hatred not arrested? Instead they are given protection. But we will not spare those who insult religion. We will take action against them”

“When it comes to the BJP, social media is all about presenting a fake video, creating a misleading narrative and deceiving the public. Even if they commit a murder, they get away with it. But, when we dare to speak, we are shown as criminals. Those who are speaking out against this government are either harassed by using agencies or are arrested” she added.

The TMC supremo also attacked the center over the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme. Calling it a “major scam and another example of Jumla politics” ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, she said “Centre must extend the retirement age of soldiers recruited under it to 60 years. They would stare at an uncertain future at the end of the four-year contract”.

“Recently I received a communication where I was requested that those Agniveers, after four years, should get the opportunity in state government jobs. It is a mess created by the Centre, and they have to clean it. We will not take the onus” she added.

Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair has been charged under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code. He has been sent to a one-day police remand after a Delhi court denied him bail.

Social activist Teesta Setalvad along with retired IPS officer RB Sreekumar were arrested in a case related to alleged fabrication of evidence to frame innocent persons in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots. They are in the custody of the Gujarat police till July 2.