Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) national president JP Nadda will arrive in West Bengal today on a two-day visit amid widespread violence unleashed allegedly by the Trinamool Congress (AITC) workers. The BJP, the runner-up in the just concluded electoral contest, says that 12 workers of the party have lost their lives in violence following the declaration of the assembly polls result. News of more mayhem and bloodshed is pouring in from the state.
Nadda will meet the BJP workers and their families affected by the violence and will hold protests.
“BJP National President Shri @JPNadda will be visiting West Bengal on 4-5May, in view of the wide spread post results retributive violence unleashed on BJP workers and supporters by criminal elements in the AITC cadre. He will be visiting families of the affected karyakartas,” the BJP said in a tweet.
The party has announced to hold a nationwide dharna on 5 May while following all Covid-19 protocols across all organisational mandals of the party. The party will organise protests against the alleged atrocities on party workers by the AITC.
“The BJP has announced a nationwide dharna on 5th May against the widespread violence unleashed by AITC workers post the election results in West Bengal. This protest will be held following all Covid protocols across all organisational mandals of the BJP,” the party tweeted.
“Within 24 hours of election results, many BJP workers have been murdered. Many workers are seriously injured. The house and shops of many party workers have also been burnt. After Mamata Banerjee’s defeat and Trinamool Congress’ victory in the election results yesterday, the AITC hooligans started celebrating the victory with violence and blood. BJP condemns this,” a statement from the BJP said.
Meanwhile, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has alleged that 15-20 AITC workers attacked the young activists of the RSS in Kolkata office and engaged in an altercation. Besides, the AITC workers vandalised the outfit’s office.
“Mamata Banerjee’s defeat in Nandigram had made the AITC cadres very resentful of those responsible for her loss and that such ‘traitors’ would not be allowed to live in Bengal for long,” the ABVP said.
Yesterday, as reported in Sirf News, the BJP office in Arambag of District Hooghly was torched. That was followed by an attack on 30 odd houses in Jadavpur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Tuesday and expressed his concern over post-poll violence in the state. Violence gripped West Bengal on Monday as several party workers died and many injured in clashes, barely a day after the result of the hotly contested state assembly poll was declared. In a tweet on Tuesday, the Bengal governor said PM Modi spoke with him and expressed his serious anguish at the law-and-order situation in the state.
The BJP is, meanwhile, walking the oft-trodden path of pleading, as it had done when Mamata Banerjee’s police had taken into custody CBI officials who were in Kolkata n February 2019 to probe alleged wrongdoings by the then Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar. The party has today moved the Supreme Court over post-poll violence in Bengal. In a petition, BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia demanded a CBI probe into the incidents of violence in the state.
BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, the party’s in-charge for Bengal, said its four workers were killed and over 4,000 houses ransacked in incidents of post-poll violence. A clash had broken out between the AITC and the BJP in West Bengal’s Purba Bardhaman district after the election results were announced, an official said on Monday. Similar reports of violence were received from different parts of the state.
After the result of the Bengal assembly election was out on Sunday, BJP’s offices in Hooghly district was set on fire and some of its leading politicians, including Suvendu Adhikari who defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, were harassed by AITC activists in other parts of the state.
Several reports of post-poll violence and arson from various parts of West Bengal on Monday prompted the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to seek a report from the West Bengal government on incidents of attack on opposition workers.
A local BJP leader said that AITC workers, shortly after the defeat of their party candidate Sujata Mondal, set on fire the BJP’s Arambagh office. “The AITC, in a bid to avenge the defeat of its candidate, indulged in acts of arson and torched our party office,” the local BJP leader claimed. AITC sources, however, denied the allegation.
Yesterday, the Bengal wing of BJP alleged that at least six of its workers were killed across the state since the assembly results were announced. The BJP said that 100 odd party offices and houses of BJP workers were ransacked across the state as the counting progressed, and the trends became clearer. Hitting out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for violence targeting BJP members and supporters, the party on Monday alleged that several party workers were killed in Bengal after the state assembly poll results.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said neither the state police nor the administration came to their help. He claimed that the mother of a booth president was killed during an attack by AITC workers at Jagaddal in North 24 Parganas district and another person was killed at Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas.
Another BJP supporter was killed in the Beleghata area of Kolkata, while two others were killed in similar attacks at Ranaghat in Nadia district and Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar, he said. AITC supporters were also accused of vandalising the homes and shops of BJP workers in various parts of Galsi.
A person died after he was severely assaulted by AITC workers in the Kankurgachi area late on Sunday night, police said. The man, claimed by his family to have been a BJP activist, was declared brought dead when taken to a nearby hospital, the police said. A few houses in the Jadavpur area were also vandalised by unknown miscreants, who were alleged to be members of the AITC.
Videos of alleged arson at a BJP office with bamboo poles and roof tiles burning amid cries of people running away from the premises were shared by the party. Photos of dead men, and people scampering with apparel looted from a shop were widely shared on social media. Multiple photos and videos shared on Twitter suggested that BJP workers in Bengal were being threatened and attacked. The BJP also shared a video with journalists showing a ransacked party office in Nandigram where piles of documents, posters, and broken furniture lay scattered everywhere.
BJP national spokesman Anil Baluni alleged that before being killed, a BJP worker was on Facebook Live twice to say even animals and children were not being spared by attackers. He also shared pictures of people with massive gashes on head and unconscious men lying with bandages wrapped around their limbs. A video showed men running away with clothes looted from a shop named ‘Hong Kong Fashion’. The faces of some of them were smeared with green colour, and a voice, apparently of the man shooting it, gleefully said “Yehi hona chahiye tha…hum to mijaz bana rahe the. (This should have happened. I was preparing for it). Another video clip showed a group of burqa clad women standing outside the shop, shouting angrily and asking “yeh Mamata raj hai ki goonda raj hai (is it the rule of Mamata (Banerjee) or the rule of hooligans?” One of them said her brother ran ‘Hong Kong Fashion’ and worked for the BJP. “It was his choice, why should anyone stop him? People should be free to be with anyone, vote for anyone–AITC or BJP,” she said as some other women joined her and were seen raging against the perpetrators, much of which was not comprehensible.
The Trinamool Congress, meanwhile, claimed on Monday three of its supporters were killed by the BJP in West Bengal’s Purba Bardhaman district. The incident took place when some AITC supporters were on the way to Nabagram in the Jamalpur police station area on their motorcycles and were allegedly attacked by BJP workers, the sources said. The AITC said that its members were thrashed and their bikes were damaged. The BJP, meanwhile, rejected the allegations, saying the incidents were the result of “people’s resistance”.
Sources said a woman who was among those injured in the incident was declared dead when taken to Jamalpur hospital. Local BJP leader Ashish Kshetrapal claimed that the woman was a BJP supporter and said AITC workers descended on the area shouting ‘Joy Bangla’ and ‘Khela Hobe’ slogans around 11 am. “We built a counter-resistance and the AITC attackers fled. But they returned via another route, forcibly entered my house and attacked my family members. My mother died in the attack,” he said. The AITC supporters also injured his father and uncle, the local leader alleged, and added that the goons vandalised and looted 17-18 houses in the area. Following the incident, 23 people were detained and a contingent of central forces was in the area.
In another incident in Samaspur in Raina police station area, a 55-year-old man was killed in AITC-BJP clashes on Sunday night after the results were declared. Ganesh Mallick, known in the area as a AITC supporter, was injured after being hit by bamboo sticks. He was admitted to the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital where he died, the sources said. BJP district general secretary Shyamal Roy said the incident was a fall out of a family dispute, while AITC spokesperson Prosenjit Das said the BJP was resorting to violence in various areas after losing the poll.
Reports of post-poll violence were received from Jalpaiguri in North Bengal too. The newly elected MLA of Dabgram-Phulbari, Sikha Chatterjee of BJP alleged that miscreants supported by the AITC attacked her house. She took reporters inside her house to show them the destruction caused by the attackers. She alleged that houses of BJP workers were vandalised and a vehicle was damaged at Chunabhati area of Dabgram-Phulbari constituency, where state minister and senior AITC leader Gautam Deb was defeated by the BJP. In Moynaguri there were reports of a clash between the two groups at Chuadanga area in which several persons were injured and a motorbike was set on fire, police said. A number of houses in the area were also vandalised, the police said, adding the injured were taken to hospitals. The BJP claimed that the injured were its supporters and the AITC denied any role in the clash. Police and central armed police force were rushed to the spot and RAF has been deployed.
After the Bengal wing of BJP blamed AITC for targetting their workers, the Left, made similar allegations. In a tweet, Sitaram Yechury wrote: “Are these reports of gruesome violence in Bengal AITC’s ‘victory celebrations’? Condemnable. Will be resisted & rebuffed. Instead of focusing on combating the pandemic AITC unleashes such mayhem. The CPI(M), as always, will be with the people to protect, assist, providing relief.”
On reports of CPI(M)’s office at Chopra in North Dinajpur being set on fire, the Facebook page of the party clarified and said that building in the photos being shared was not theirs. The party advised people to verify reports before sharing them.
Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, urged her supporters to maintain peace amid reports of violence and asked them not to fall prey to provocations. “Even after the results were announced, BJP attacked our supporters in certain areas but we ask our men not to get provoked and instead report to the police,” Mamata said at a press conference. The BJP, meanwhile, has announced a nationwide dharna on May 5 against the alleged post-election violence by AITC workers in Bengal.