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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Vehicles near Amit Shah’s rally in Bengal vandalised, BJP blames TMC

The BJP has held the ruling TMC responsible for vandalising the vehicles parked near the venue of Amit Shah’s rally in East Midnapore on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2019 19:47 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya and Koushik Dutta
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya and Koushik Dutta
Hindustan Times, Contai
Vehicles parked near BJP president Amit Shah’s rally venue in East Midnapore were vandalised during the public event on Tuesday.
Vehicles parked near BJP president Amit Shah’s rally venue in East Midnapore were vandalised during the public event on Tuesday.(Photo: Twitter/@ANI)

About two dozen buses that carried Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters to Amit Shah’s public rally in Bengal on Tuesday and some party offices of the Trinamool Congress were vandalised and a few two-wheelers set ablaze when activists of the two parties clashed after Shah’s meeting in Contai.

Though the rally concluded peacefully, BJP workers heading back to their buses noticed that many shattered windscreens and windows on the vehicles that were parked half a kilometer away from the venue.

The BJP workers retaliated by vandalising several government buses, police vehicles, motorbikes and two offices of the ruling Trinamool Congress. Several bikes and cycles were set ablaze.

Supporters of the two rival parties clashed with sticks and hurled bricks at one another.

More than 100 policemen were deployed to bring the situation under control.

A war of words broke out between the leaders of the two parties after the clash with both parties alleging that they were attacked first.

“You saw for yourself what happened with the buses that carried our supporters. They tried every means on hand to thwart the meeting. Even eateries were closed in the town so that those who came to attend would not get anything to eat. Water supply to the area was disrupted. They also broke the windscreens of many buses while everyone was listening to our president,” alleged BJP national executive member Mukul Roy.

In a tweet, BJP wrote, “TMC workers vandalized the vehicles parked near BJP National President Shri @AmitShah’s rally venue in East Midnapore. What are they so scared of?”

“I don’t know when their party office was attacked. Our buses and smaller vehicles were attacked one by one. No cops were seen in the area,” alleged BJP?Bengal president Dilip Ghosh.

In Delhi BJP?spokesperson Samit Patra alleged, “There is no democracy in Bengal. Our supporters are constantly being attacked and even killed. The BJP’s growing popularity has become a threat for Mamata Banerjee.”

“Everyone has seen who has attacked us. They were not locals, but outsiders. These men were harmads (armed goons) of the CPI(M) and have now joined the BJP. On the way back from the rally, BJP supporters attacked our party office and vandalised vehicles. They were armed with bombs and bows and arrows. A few of our supporters who were in the party office were also injured,” alleged Trinamool Congress minister Suvendu Adhikari, who happens to be the son of the local MP.

“They (BJP?supporters) came with stones, sticks and bombs. They set fire to a few two wheelers,” alleged Sisir Adhikari.

“If they attack our party office and throw bricks and bombs, will we throw rosogollas at them?” the minister told a TV channel, when asked whether their supporters attacked the buses that brought BJP workers to the venue.

“More than 25 buses and some government vehicles were vandalised. One motorcycle was set on fire. Forces have been deployed to control the situation,” said additional superintendent of police (rural) Indrajit Basu.

Till 7 pm, police had not arrested anyone.

Passenger vehicles like Trekkers and auto rickshaws did not ply in Contai town on Tuesday.

Senior BJP leaders Mukul Roy, national secretary Rahul Sinha and Bengal unit general secretary Sayantan Basu stayed on the dais for over two hours after Shah’s departure from the venue of the rally to ensure that the situation did not spin out of control.

“I have told our party workers to file a police complaint. I have told the police to take appropriate steps. I have informed the chief minister of the situation here,” said Trinamool Congress minister Adhikari.

He also said that Trinamool workers will organise a protest rally in Contai on Wednesday and a counter-rally at the very spot of Shah’s meeting on Sunday.