A central BJP team visited Sandeshkhali in North 24-Parganas district on Saturday and took stock of the ground situation at Rampur village where 26 of their supporters were injured in an armed attack by Trinamool cadres on May 17 for the 'crime' of celebrating the BJP's victory in the Lok Sabha polls.
The team lashed out at the state government for the "collapse of the law and order situation in the state" that they said was now "worse than what it was during the 34-year CPI(M) regime".
The delegation also warned the Trinamool leadership that the party wonft take things lying down if violence targeting BJP supporters continued.
"Bengal is the only state in the country where our supporters are being attacked. We warn the state government that the BJP will not sit idle if the attacks continue," senior party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said while standing in the terror-struck village.
"The situation in Bengal is extremely serious. The law and order situation has completely collapsed. All the goons of the Left Front are now under the patronage of the Trinamool and getting protection from the police," Naqvi added.
He also said that the team would tell the party's top leadership that Bengal "needs special attention" and senior BJP leaders would "visit the state more frequently".
The BJP team also visited the SSKM hospital in Kolkata where 13 of the 26 injured are under treatment.
Promising “full support from the Centre” to the BJP supporters facing “Trinamool terror,” Naqvi urged them to “fight back the Trinamool goons”.
Apart from Naqvi, the team included Darjeeling MP and BJP national vice-president SS Ahluwalia, party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, party’s Bengal in-charge Siddharth Nath Singh and Asansol MP Babul Supriyo.
The BJP delegation got a firsthand view of “Trinamool terror” when villagers showed them bullets and empty cartridges found in the village after the Trinamool cadres’ firing at the villagers.
“They were threatening us since the results were out on May 16. But we could not imagine that they would open fire at villagers for merely bursting fire crackers to celebrate Narendra Modi’s swearing in,” Shibnath Mondal, two of whose nephews sustained bullet injuries and were in hospital, said.
Even on Saturday, two weeks after the attack, tension was palpable in Rampur village. “Some policemen were posted in our village after the violence, but Trinamool cadres are threatening us with dire consequences once the police camp is removed,” Kabita Sardar, a woman, told Naqvi.
Jhuma Sardar, a middle-aged woman, pleaded for protection before the central BJP leaders who met the villagers on the balcony of Purba Rampur Free Primary School. “Please help us. We are terrorised,” she said.
“An era of misrule has descended upon Bengal. The police registered FIRs against those who were injured,” Babul Supriyo said, adding, “This cannot go on. We have to stop it. You must stay united and fight the goons back.”
State BJP president Rahul Sinha assured the villagers by saying, “New Delhi is with you… the entire BJP leadership is with you. Do not succumb to their threats. The fight has just begun. We have to look forward towards toppling this government in 2016.”