Amidst the growing clamour for action against Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Tapas Pal for making offensive comments, the party tried put to put an end to the controversy by stating that the "matter ends" with Mr. Pal's apology.

“The party has accepted his apology," TMC spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said and added, "The party believes that the tone and tenor of the letter was right and the matter ends there,” soon after attending a meeting chaired by chairperson Mamata Banerjee.

After Mr. Pal’s comments of threatening, “to unleash his boys to rape” his opposition were made public, the MP wrote a letter to the party on Tuesday and apologised “unreservedly for (his) remarks”.

Ms. Banerjee, who had said on Tuesday that Mr Pal has committed a “big blunder”, had given ample hints of not taking any action against the beleaguered MP by retorting to the journalists “What should I do...kill him (Pal).” During the day she held a closed-door meeting of all the party MPs from both Houses of Parliament along with senior party functionaries and categorically told them to “exercise restraint on their language”. Sources in the party told The Hindu that she has asked them not to speak to the media without taking permission of senior leaders. Mr. Pal, however, was not present at the meeting.

Another senior party leader and MP, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy also made it clear that the party was not keen to proceed on the issue. "Tapas Pal offered an unconditional apology to members of the party, women of Bengal and people of the country . The party has accepted the apology in spirit and the matter ends there,” Mr Roy reiterated.

PIL filed

Meanwhile, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed before the Calcutta High Court seeking penal action against the MP, who represents Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency in the State’s Nadia district.

“He has publicly exhorted his partymen to kill CPI (M) activists and rape women. But still this government has not initiated any action. So we have pleaded before the court to take cognisance and direct the police to initiate criminal proceedings and arrest Pal,” counsel for the petitioner Subrata Mukherjee said. The matter will be taken up for hearing in the court of Justice Dipankar Datta.

Video surfaces

While Mr. Pal’s comments made at Choumaha village are doing the rounds on television channels and the social media, another video recording his comments at Gopinathpur- about 10 km from Choumaha, has surfaced where he is exhorting partymen to kill supporters of the Communist party of India (Marxist).

“Till I am here, don't spare any CPI(M) worker. Our men will kill them. I am also asking the women to slit open CPI(M) worker's throats. Use your bontis (weapons) to slash their throats. Why haven’t you done it till now? Don’t you know how to use a knife?” the MP is seen saying in the video.

While there have been protests by women rights groups and political parties demanding the MP’s arrest, civil rights groups have raised questions on the silence of the State’s Human Rights Commission and the women’s commission on the matter.

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