TMC leader injured in shooting in BJP stronghold in Bengal, parties trade charges
Kankinara, where the Trinamool Congress politician was shot, is part of the Bhatpara assembly constituency and is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stronghold.Updated: Jul 15, 2020 22:13 IST
A local Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader in the Kankinara industrial area of Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district survived an assassination bid after he was shot in the head by two motorcycle-borne men on Wednesday morning, police said.
The incident took place in a busy area outside a factory where Dharmendra Singh was waiting for some of his associates. He was rushed to the local Bhatpara state general hospital and later shifted to a private hospital in Kolkata.
Since Kankinara, which is part of the Bhatpara assembly constituency, is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stronghold, the ruling party accused the BJP of carrying out the attack.
Arjun Singh, a former four-time TMC legislator from Bhatpara and former chairman of the local civic body, joined BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and defeated TMC’s two-time MP Dinesh Trivedi from Barrackpore, the Lok Sabha seat under which Bhatpara falls. There have been several clashes in different parts of the constituency, including Bhatpara, during and after the election. Singh’s son is a legislator from Bhatpara.
The area has a sizeable Hindi-speaking population comprising jute mill and factory workers hailing mostly from Bihar.
“Arjun Singh has established a reign of terror. He has brought shooters from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to carry out attacks on our men. Dharmendra Singh is an active local leader,” said TMC’s district unit president and food minister Jyotipriyo Mullick.
“It is BJP that is coming under attack every day. These are baseless allegations. The attack is a fallout of the TMC’s interval dispute over collection of protection money from local factory owners,” said Arjun Singh.
Officers from Barrackpore police district rushed to the spot and started an investigation. “We are trying to get a description of the motorcycle and the two riders from local people,” said an officer who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In June last year, Arjun Singh sustained head injury when the police resorted to baton charge to stop a clash between his followers and TMC workers in the Jagaddal area of North 24 Parganas district over control of party offices.