Kolkata: The Kolkata Police arrested a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Tuesday evening a day after he gave cow urine to drink claiming that this would protect them from contracting Covid-19.
Narayan Chatterjee, a BJP leader of north Kolkata’s Jorasanko area, organised an event on Monday during which he distributed cow urine, telling people that it offered complete protection against coronavirus. He also offered it to a Home Guard personnel in uniform who drank it.
On Tuesday morning, Pintu Pramanik, the Home Guard personnel, lodged a complaint at Jorabagan police station, alleging that he was given cow urine that was passed off as “charanamrita” or ambrosia. On the basis of his complaint, the police registered a case under sections 269 (unlawfully or negligently spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life), 278 (making the atmosphere noxious to health) and 114 (abettor present when a crime is committed) of the Indian Penal Code.
Chatterjee was arrested in the evening. BJP state unit general secretary Sayantan Basu acknowledged that Chatterjee was a leader of their party but disassociated the party from the event. “The party had no connection with the said event,” he said.
“I committed no crime. I drank it myself before offering it to others. I know for sure it protects from novel coronavirus,” Chatterjee said on Tuesday before being arrested.
On Monday, clad in saffron, with a badge showing BJP’s electoral symbol lotus, he distributed cow urine. He had said, “Cow urine offers 100 per cent protection against novel coronavirus.”
His arrest came within 24 hours of the police in Hooghly district arresting a person for selling cow urine and cow dung claiming that they offered protection against Covid-19.
The person, Sheikh Mamud, a milk vendor in his 50s, was booked under sections 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) and 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, along with provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954. All the sections are non-bailable.
On Monday morning, Mamud started selling urine of Indian cow at Rs 500 per kg and of Jersey cow at Rs 400 per kg at a roadside stall at Dankuni in Hooghly district, about 25 kilometres from Kolkata. A number of local people queued up in front of his stall to buy cow urine. Officers from Serampore police station intervened in the evening after receiving complaints from some locals.
Following the police action, the Mamud argued that he was inspired by Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha’s event in New Delhi last week where supporters of the organisation drank cow urine in public.
“The person has been arrested and we are investigating his motive,” said Humayun Kabir, commissioner of Chandannagar police commissioner.