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Morphed Picture Row: Cases Against Mamata Banerjee, Derek O’Brien

Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata/New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress spokesman Derek O’Brien, who are in a spot over use of a morphed picture of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh by the party, on Sunday saw cases registered against them in Kolkata and New Delhi.

The BJP lodged a police complaint against Trinamool Congress chief Ms Banerjee, Subrata Bakshi and Derek O’Brien alleging that they were responsible for the use of a morphed picture of Mr Singh and demanded their immediate arrest.

BJP state spokesperson Joy Prakash Majumdar along with other leaders and party workers met Joint Commissioner (Crime) of Kolkata Police, Debasish Boral and lodged a complaint against the three Trinamool leaders.

“Today we have lodged a complaint with the Kolkata Police in connection with the morphed picture showing Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh offering sweets to CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat,” Mr Majumdar said.

“In our complaint we have held three – TMC party chairperson Mamata Banerjee, all India general secretary Subrata Bakshi and national spokesperson Derek O’Brien, who held yesterday’s press conference, responsible for the entire episode and demanded their immediate arrest,” Mr Majumdar told Press Trust of India.

In Delhi, Mr Karat filed a complaint against Mr O’Brien with Mandir Marg police station.

“He (O’Brien) has used morphed picture in his press conference and it has also been put on website of Trinamool Congress and this is being widely shown on the (news) channels also,” the Left leader said.

“So, it is politically defamatory and got the party (CPI-M) and myself into disrepute among people. So, action should be taken,” Mr Karat said in his complaint.

The Trinamool Congress, following a press conference by Derek O’Brien in Kolkata, had yesterday posted two videos and six pictures on its website. The morphed photograph showed Singh offering sweets to Karat. The original picture had the Union Home Minister offering sweets to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The party, however, removed the morphed picture from its website after the controversy erupted.

“We have seen so many things happening in Indian politics but TMC has broken all records and stooped to such a low level,” Mr Majumdar said.

“We have received a complaint from the BJP today. They have lodged a complaint with our Cyber Crime section. We are looking into the matter,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Debasish Boral said in Kolkata.

BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said the incident shows the “frustration of TMC out of fear of losing”.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who was campaigning in West Bengal, said he will raise the issue in Parliament which reconvenes tomorrow.

“I will raise the morphed picture issue in Parliament. Our party has already lodged a police complaint in this connection in Delhi,” Mr Yechury said at an election meeting in Hooghly district.


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