Sat, 10 Dec 2022

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], October 3 (ANI): A police complaint has been filed against the All India Hindu Mahasabha for depicting Mahatma Gandhi in an 'asura' idol at a Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata's Ruby by-pass.

The idol of asura resembling Mahatma Gandhi was installed at the pandal, following which West Bengal Congress leader Koustav Bagchi on Sunday filed a complaint with the Kolkata Police to file a Zero FIR in connection with the matter.

However, changes were made to the idol of asura following the intervention of the Kolkata Police.

Chandrachud Goswami, who is the organiser of the puja and also the state working president of the Hindu Mahasabha, admitted to portraying the asura as Mahatma Gandhi and said that they do not accept the "forceful" changes.

Speaking to ANI today, Goswami said, "The idol of Asura did resemble MK Gandhi, we do not deny it. It has been changed. We have not made the changes. We received a lot of calls. We have been made to change it forcefully. We do not accept the changes. Our freedom of expression has been curtailed."Goswami denied calling Mahatma Gandhi as the father of the nation, and said that the organisation would "spread the word about Gandhi's activities" among people in the future.

"People should know that nobody called Gandhi the father of the nation. There is no such resolution passed in this regard. We do not consider him as the father of the nation because of these activities, what he did to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh ji, has to be condemned. After pressure was put on us, Kolkata Police supported us and requested to make the change. So forceful changes have been made. We do not believe in this change. We will spread the word about Gandhi's activities among people in the future. He is the person who divided our country," the organiser said.

Following the incident, Congress leader Bagchi filed a complaint with the Kolkata Police alleging that the move by the Hindu Mahasabha was an act of "sedition" and "detrimental to national integrity". He also asked the police to stop the puja at the said location immediately.

"I have lodged a complaint against Chandrachur Goswami and the other functionaries of the state unit, because the idol of asura has been depicted as Mahatma Gandhi who is the father of the nation. This act determines sedition and is completely detrimental to national integrity. So a complaint has been lodged at the police station to file a zero FIR and take the necessary steps. It has also been stated in the complaint that the puja needs to be immediately stopped. I have filed the complaint after a discussion with state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury," he said in a video.

Earlier, Congress condemned the incident and demanded the "strictest" action against the organisers of the puja.

"All India Hindu Mahasabha in Kolkata has wrongly depicted Mahatma Gandhi in Durga Puja pandal. This is a crime we strongly condemn this. Strictest action should be taken against the organisers. We are not tweeting that picture. There is no place for this picture, this thinking in any corner of the world," Congress tweeted. (ANI)

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