Malda/Bankura/Purulia: Violence refuses to ebb, let alone end, even after the third phase of the general election in West Bengal’s Malda. Last Tuesday, the town was rocked by incidents of firing and bombing. In most cases, the accused party was the Trinamool followed by the Congress, the second of which is still a formidable force to reckon with in this region.
Hoodlums allegedly working for the Trinamool — Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, spokesman Derek O’Brien and other important leaders of the party no longer add “Congress” to the party name — attacked Sagar Roy, a BJP worker from Kaligram, Chanchal, in Malda district. The village falls under the Malda North constituency.
On the day of the polling, Roy had reportedly tried to resist Trinamool goons who were capturing booths to cast false votes. On Wednesday, a bunch of Trinamool workers allegedly retaliated, hitting the BJP worker with a machete. Roy is now admitted to a hospital with a serious head injury.
The Trinamool has alleged too that seven of its workers were injured in bomb attacks on Wednesday after the vote, putting the blame on the Congress.
The injured have been admitted to the Shamsi Grameen Hospital and are being treated there. Police have started investigating the incident.
The Congress, as well as the BJP, have alleged their workers have been attacked across the State.
The situation across rural and small-town Bengal is now tense even as Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb reached Purulia at 11 o’clock in the morning by air. He visited the village of Senabana, where he went to meet the family of Shishupal Sahis who was recently killed by Trinamool goons.
The BJP worker’s body had been found hanging from a tree near the village Thursday morning.
The BJP alleged that the Trinamool leaders of the area were lynching their cadre and hanging the bodies from trees to create terror in the area — as two other BJP workers were found dead under similar circumstances. Other than Sahis, there was Trilochan Mahato who was barely 18 and 32-year-old Dulal Kumar.
The Trinamool has dismissed the allegation saying these were all cases of suicide.
Before Deb, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had visited the State on Monday. He had visited Sahis’s house too.
Deb said today, “Before the last Assembly election in Tripura, nobody thought that the people of Tripura were going to bring the BJP to power. But everybody joined hands to pull down the CPM government.”
Between the visits of Rijiju and Deb, the BJP alleged their workers were attacked and registered cases of assault against the Trinamool. This incident happened in the Bibarda village of the Taldangra thana area of Bankura where BJP activist Modhumoy Pramanik was admitted with serious injuries to the Bankura Medical College Hospital.
Pramanik is BJP’s Taldangra general secretary. Trinamool has denied the allegation.
Eyewitnesses say on Wednesday in the morning, some BJP cadre were hoisting the party’s flag near the Bibarda bus stand of Taldangra police station area. Some Trinamool workers arrived in no time and thrashed all the motley group of BJP workers. They slapped, punched and kicked the BJP cadre, but the harshest treatment was reserved for Pramanik who was beaten by sticks for a long time.
Later, family members and BJP workers took Pramanik’s near lifeless body from the road and got him admitted to the Taldangra village hospital. From there, he was sent to the Bankura Medical College Hospital.
According to family sources, his body bears deep scars in different places.
BJP candidate from Bankura Centre, Subhash Sarkar, went to the hospital to see the workers injured during the campaign. He said, “Trinamool is resorting to terror as it faces defeat. Their hooliganism just wouldn’t stop. One after another, our cadre are being attacked. But the way people are flocking to us, the Trinamool better be warned. They are running the risk of losing. They will face the wrath of the people.”
Trinamool’s Bankura district general secretary Joy Chattopadhyay said, however, “The BJP is paying the price for an internal feud. It’s old BJP versus new BJP. To hide their factional fights, they are making cock-and-bull stories. The nearer the next round of voting approaches, the greater will be their drama.”
But this was hardly a sporadic incident. On 15 April, some BJP activists were beaten up in the Narayanpur village of Patrasay thana of Bankura. Two BJP workers were admitted to the town hospital with serious injuries after the incident.
The Trinamool denied they had anything to do with this incident too.
For more Lok Sabha election-related news, please visit this page.