Bengal remains on edge as TMC-BJP clashes continue
Workers of the saffron party clashed with the police at Buniyadpur and Gangarampur in Bengal’s South Dinajpur after the authorities tried to stop the victory processions led by BJP.Updated: Jun 08, 2019 23:37 IST
Violent clashes broke out between supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in parts of Bengal on Saturday, with at least one person being killed and the opposition party claiming three more deaths, although the police did not confirm these.
TMC’s Kayum Molla, 26, was reportedly killed in a clash at Dhanipara village in the North 24 Parganas district, police said on Saturday evening.
The area falls in Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency that TMC won in the recent Lok Sabha election. With Mollah’s death, the toll in political violence since announcement of poll results on May 23 reached nine.
BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu claimed that his party supporters were attacked by TMC supporters when they were raising a party flag. “Our local party workers Tapan Mondal, Sukanta Mondal and Pradip Mondal were killed,” said Basu who contested from the Basirhat Lok Sabha seat. However, he did not present any evidence to back his claim till going to press.
K Sabari Rajkumar, superintendent of police, Basirhat, said, “Kayum Molla, a local youth, was killed in the violence.We received reports that some people were injured. Though some people are claiming that there were more deaths, no body was found.”
BJP national executive member Mukul Roy said a BJP team will meet Union home minister Amit Shah and give him a report.
On Saturday, BJP workers clashed with police, days after chief minister Mamata Banerjee banned victory processions of political parties, saying they created law and order problems.
Workers of the saffron party clashed with the police at Buniyadpur and Gangarampur in Bengal’s South Dinajpur district on Saturday afternoon after the authorities tried to stop the victory processions led by BJP state president and newly-elected Midnapore MP Dilip Ghosh.
A police officer told news agency Press Trust of India that the party had not taken permission from the authorities.
BJP workers as well as police officials were injured in the clashes. A sub-inspector sustained a head injury and a civic volunteer sustained a fracture.
Police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse BJP workers who vandalised police vehicles. The unrest continued for nearly three hours, and 20 party workers were rounded up.
Since June 6, when the police has imposed Section 144 — to prohibit assembly of more than four persons in an area — the BJP renamed the victory roadshows Janagan Abhinandan Yatra.
“We have won 18 seats in West Bengal and our vote share has also increased to 40.5 per cent... We wanted to thank the people by organising these rallies...We will go ahead with the marches even if we don’t get a clearance for them,” Ghosh told PTI.
“First they (BJP) will create trouble and then blame us for a deteriorating law and order situation and finally demand imposition of Central rule under Article 356 of the Constitution. Since they are in power at the Centre they think they can do anything,” said Urban development minister and Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim.
Clashes were also reported from West Midnapore district and Kadambagachi area of North 24 Parganas district.
First Published: Jun 08, 2019 23:25 IST