Actor and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Soham Chakraborty allegedly slapped a restaurant owner in Kolkata’s New Town area on Friday night claiming that the latter had used “bad words” against the party’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee.

While the restaurant owner has denied the allegations, Chakraborty later apologized over the incident.

According to police, the incident took place on Friday night when the Tollywood actor was shooting outside a restaurant.

A formal complaint has been lodged against Chakraborty at the Techno City Police Station, they added. “The Chandipur MLA had parked his car in front of the restaurant, which reportedly caused inconvenience to other customers. The restaurant owner, Anisul Alam, asked Chakraborty’s security personnel to remove his car. As a verbal altercation followed, the MLA came to the spot and slapped Alam,” said police.

Police said the restaurant shared the CCTV footage of the incident on Saturday. “The CCTV footage shows Chakraborty pushing the restaurant owner so hard that he fell a few steps backwards. The MLA is seen kicking Alam, grabbing him by his collar and thrashing him,” said a police officer.

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Speaking to media persons, Chakraborty alleged that his security guards were beaten up first and it was not recorded on the CCTV camera. “The moment he (Alam) used bad words against Abhishek Banerjee, I lost my cool. I slapped him several times. I have informed the police who will now look into the matter,” he added.

“We have received a complaint from the restaurant owner. We are investigating the matter,” said a senior police officer of Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate.
However, the restaurant owner told the media that Chakraborty’s allegations were baseless and claimed that the actor had even threatened to get his establishment shut.

“He came here to shoot without even a commercial deal. Despite that, we allowed him to shoot outside the restaurant. There was a verbal altercation between the restaurant workers and his security personnel regarding parking. I had resolved that and was on my way to the restaurant when Chakraborty came and punched me in the face. I pleaded with folded hands and asked him not to beat me up and let me tell him what happened. Instead, he said, ‘I will show you my power’ and kicked me,” Alam alleged.

Alam also denied using “bad words” against Banerjee. “Chakraborty is making baseless allegations that I used bad words against Abhishek Banerjee to defend his actions. This is completely untrue as I never used any bad words against Banerjee. I only said that it does not matter whether Chakraborty was a friend of Abhishek Banerjee or Narendra Modi as he had to clear the parking space for my guests…,” he added.

“He threatened to get my restaurant shut…” Alam said.

As the incident drew widespread criticism, Chakraborty later apologized for beating up the restaurant owner and said he had “lost his cool” after his security guards were beaten up. “I had lost my cool after my security guards were beaten up. I could not take it after bad words were used against Abhishek Banerjee. However, being a public representative, I should not have done this. I apologize for my conduct. I am regretting my actions,” said the TMC MLA.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, criticized the TMC for not taking any action against Chakraborty.

Posting on ‘X’, State BJP Yuva Morcha chief Indranil Khan said “TMC MLA Soham Chakraborty mercilessly beats, drags by collar a restaurant staffer and then misuses his security to beat up other staffers in Kolkata’s New Town. Well, no action will be taken against him by Mamata Banerjee’s police because in West Bengal, the law is of the ruler as there is no rule of law.”

“Here lawmakers of the ruling party can take law into their own hands and escape any penal action… No wonder where from TMC workers get the audacity and protection to perpetrate routine-post poll violence on Opposition supporters in West Bengal,” Khan wrote in his tweet. .