BJP youth leaders Pamela Goswami and Prabir Dey arrested in Kolkata for possession of cocaine

Published : February 20, 2021 14:47 IST

Pamela Goswami. Photo: By special arrangement

In a major embarrassment for the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two of its youth leaders were arrested on the charge of possession of cocaine. On the evening of February 19, Pamela Goswami, State secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and her colleague Prabir Kumar Dey were caught by the police with around 90 gm of cocaine on them worth several lakhs. According to reports, Pamela was on the police radar for some time on suspicion of being involved in drug trafficking. The BJP leadership has stated that she may have been framed.

The police, who were closely monitoring Pamela’s activities, nabbed her in her car in New Alipore, one of the poshest parts of Kolkata. The police discovered the cocaine not just in her purse but also in other parts of the car. Prabir Dey and Pamela’s security guard, who were present in the car, were arrested as well. As she was being taken away by the police, Pamela could be heard shouting that she was being framed and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai.’

At a time when the BJP is sparing no opportunity to highlight alleged illegal activities carried out by members of the ruling Trinamool Congress, Pamela’s arrest has come as a setback to the image of the party in Bengal. BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said, “We do not know whether she has done it at all or whether the drugs were planted. We also have to take into consideration that the Model Code of Conduct has not yet been imposed, and the police is still being totally controlled by the State government.”

State BJP president and Lok Sabha MP Dilip Ghosh claimed that such cases have been slapped against not just the BJP but other opposition parties as well, and it remains to be proved whether Pamela Goswami was indeed guilty. “There have been many cases before of karyakartas being put in prison for possessing ganja (marijuana)…. A teacher in Purulia has been in jail for the past three years on a ganja case…. If she [Pamela] is guilty then the law will take its course, but we will continue to protest against the manner in which our party members are being framed and put in jail,” said Ghosh.

This is not the first time that State BJP leaders have found themselves embroiled in illegal activities. In February 2017 Mahila Morcha leader Juhi Chakraborty was arrested in north Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district for her alleged involvement in a child-smuggling racket. At that time, too, the party leadership initially claimed that Juhi, who was known to be close to BJP Rajya Sabha member Rupa Ganguly, was being framed. The latest incident, however, has given the Trinamool Congress a handle to attack its main political opponent with. Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said, “Earlier too the BJP has been seen to be involved in illegal activities like child-smuggling…. It is extremely shameful that the BJP is using women to carry out such work.” Pamela, a former actress, joined the BJP in 2019. Though not a well-known figure in Bengal politics, she is nevertheless not unimportant in the BJP hierarchy and has been charge of BJYM’s functioning in Hooghly.

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