Howrah/Kolkata, February 23: A BJP leader has been arrested along with 10 others on the charge of running a sex racket in a hotel in West Bengal's Howrah district, a senior police officer said on Friday. The incident triggered a political row as the Trinamool Congress accused the BJP of shielding leaders involved in sex racket, while the saffron camp claimed that the ruling party was trying to deflect attention from the incidents of Sandeshkhali where women alleged sexual abuse by TMC leaders.

Sabyasachi Ghosh, a local BJP leader, and his 10 associates were arrested after the police raided a hotel in Sankrail area on Thursday evening. During the police raid, several girls and women were rescued from the hotel allegedly owned by the BJP leader, the official said. He claimed that the arrested people had been running the sex racket by bringing in girls and women to the hotel located near National Highway 116. Sandeshkhali Violence: Calcutta High Court Grants Bail to Journalist, Says Press Must Be Allowed To Function Freely

When produced before a court, Ghosh and another accused were remanded to seven days' police custody. Attacking the BJP, the TMC said in a post on X: “@BJP4Bengalleader Sabyasachi Ghosh caught running a PROSTITUTION RACKET of MINOR GIRLS in his hotel in Howrah's Sankrail. The Police arrested 11 accused & rescued 6 victims from the spot. THIS IS BJP. They don't protect BETIS, they protect PIMPS!”

TMC state youth wing president Sayani Ghosh said, “The BJP is working overtime to malign Mamata Banerjee's image. The same BJP's Howrah Kisan Morcha Secretary Sabyasachi Ghosh has been arrested from a hotel in Sankrail for running a prostitution racket involving minor girls. Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha claimed that the TMC is trying to weave a narrative to show the BJP in poor light which will have no takers. Fresh Tension Erupts in Sandeshkhali: Property of TMC Leader Sheikh Shahjahan’s Brother Burnt by Mob

“The TMC is desperately trying to wriggle out of Sandeshkhali fire, which has engulfed the ruling party and established the role of their local satraps in exploiting women and committing atrocities on locals for years,” Sinha, a former BJP state president, told PTI. He said that if anyone is found guilty, the law will take its own course and the party will not shield them “unlike the TMC”.