Row after several killed in violence post Bengal polls

Updated on May 04, 2021 06:23 AM IST
The violence prompted Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to summon the state’s director general of police.
BJP office and shops vandalized by unidentified people, in Ghoshpara road of Bhatpara on Monday. (ANI Photo)
BJP office and shops vandalized by unidentified people, in Ghoshpara road of Bhatpara on Monday. (ANI Photo)
By, Kolkata/new Delhi

Post-poll violence lashed West Bengal on Monday as rival political workers clashed, party offices were torched and homes looted, resulting in the deaths of several people and prompting the Union home ministry and state governor to seek reports.

The BJP said that it will hold a nationwide dharna against the violence -- which it claimed killed nine workers -- on May 5, the same day Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee is expected to take oath as chief minister for the third time. Party president JP Nadda will visit the state on Tuesday to meet workers.

TMC rejected the charges and Banerjee appealed for peace across the state.

The BJP said a few hundred party offices and houses of its workers were ransacked across the state since Sunday evening, when TMC emerged victorious in the assembly elections. Party workers shared videos of alleged arson at BJP offices with bamboo poles and roof tiles burning.

“At least nine persons have been killed in the last 24 hours. A few hundred houses have been ransacked. Reports of violence were pouring in from all constituencies. We have shared video clippings,” said Dilip Ghosh, BJP’s West Bengal unit chief.

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The TMC, which won 213 seats as opposed to the BJP’s 77, said two of its workers were killed by BJP members. Banerjee said the BJP was spreading lies using old pictures of riots outside Bengal. “We know that the BJP and central forces had tortured people. The political heat sometimes shot up. But even then, I would urge all to maintain peace and not to resort to violence. If there are any allegations approach the police. Till we take oath law and order is not in our hand. I am not vindictive. But despite the defeat BJP is still torturing people,” said Banerjee.

The violence prompted Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to summon the state’s director general of police. “Perturbed and worried at several reports of violence, arson and killings from various parts of state. Party offices, houses & shops being attacked. Situation alarming. Prompt action called for @HomeBengal @WBPolice @CPKolkata Have conferred @MamataOfficial for urgent action,” Dhankhar tweeted.

The Union home ministry also said it sought a report from the West Bengal government. “MHA has asked West Bengal government for a report on the post-election violence targeting opposition political workers in the state,” the ministry tweeted.

“The BJP has announced a nationwide dharna on 5th May against the widespread violence unleashed by TMC workers post the election results in West Bengal...,” the party tweeted.

BJP said a worker’s mother was killed in Jagaddal when she tried to save her son from TMC goons. A BJP worker was killed in east Kolkata. At Ranaghat, a BJP supporter was killed. In Sonarpur, a BJP woker died.

At least three persons were killed and around five were injured in a clash between BJP and TMC workers in East Burdwan.

A TMC worker was killed in Pingla in West Midnapore, state police said.

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