Bengal, May 4: PM Narendra Modi called up West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday and expressed his concern over post-poll violence in the state. Violence gripped West Bengal on Monday as several party workers died and many injured in clashes, barely a day after the result of the hotly contested state assembly poll was declared.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the Bengal governor said PM Modi spoke with him and expressed his serious anguish at the law and order situation in the state.
The BJP has, meanwhile, moved the Supreme Court over post-poll violence in Bengal. In his petition, BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia demanded a CBI probes into violence in the state.
PM called and expressed his serious anguish and concern at alarmingly worrisome law & order situation @MamataOfficial
I share grave concerns @PMOIndia given that violence vandalism, arson. loot and killings continue unabated.
Concerned must act in overdrive to restore order.
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) May 4, 2021
What happened in Bengal?
Multiple reports of post-poll violence and arson from various parts of West Bengal on Monday prompted the Union home ministry to seek a report from the Bengal government on incidents of attack on opposition workers
BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Monday said four of its workers were killed and over 4,000 houses ransacked in incidents of post-poll violence in the state. The party workers were allegedly killed in a clash that broke out between the TMC and the BJP in West Bengal’s Purba Bardhaman district after the election results were announced. Similar reports of violence were received from multiple parts of the state.
Here are the top 10 points of Bengal
- After the results of the Bengal Assembly election were announced on Sunday, the BJP alleged that one of its party offices in Hooghly district was set on fire and some of its leaders, including Suvendu Adhikari, was harassed by TMC activists in other parts of the state.
A local BJP leader claimed that TMC workers, shortly after the defeat of their party candidate Sujata Mondal, set on fire the BJP’s Arambagh office. “The TMC, in a bid to avenge the defeat of its candidate, indulged in acts of arson and torched our party office,” the local BJP leader claimed. TMC sources, however, denied the allegation.
- On Monday, the Bengal wing of BJP claimed that at least six of its workers were killed across the state since the assembly results were announced. The BJP alleged that a hundred party offices and houses of BJP workers were ransacked across the state as the counting progressed, and the trends became clearer. Hitting out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for violence targeting BJP members and supporters, the party on Monday alleged that several party workers were killed in Bengal after the state assembly poll results. In a tweet, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, the party’s in-charge for Bengal, said its four workers were killed and over 4,000 houses ransacked in incidents of post-poll violence.
- BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said neither the state police nor the administration came to their help. He claimed that the mother of a booth president was killed during an attack by TMC workers at Jagaddal in the North 24 Parganas district and another person was killed at Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas. Another BJP supporter was killed in the Beleghata area of the city, while two others were killed in similar attacks at Ranaghat in Nadia district and Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar, he said. TMC supporters were also accused of vandalizing the homes and shops of BJP workers in various parts of Galsi. A person died after he was severely assaulted by TMC workers in the Kankurgachi area late on Sunday night, police said. The man, claimed by his family to have been a BJP activist, was declared brought dead when taken to a nearby hospital, the police said. A few houses in the Jadavpur area were also vandalized by unknown miscreants, who were alleged to be members of the TMC.
- Videos of alleged arson at a BJP office with bamboo poles and roof tiles burning amid cries of people running away from the premises were shared by the party. Photos of dead men and people scampering with apparel looted from a shop were widely shared on social media. Multiple photos and videos shared on Twitter suggested that BJP workers in Bengal were being threatened and attacked. The BJP also shared a video with journalists showing a ransacked party office in Nandigram where piles of documents, posters, and broken furniture lay scattered everywhere.
BJP national spokesman Anil Baluni alleged that before being killed, a BJP worker was on Facebook Live twice to say even animals and children were not being spared by attackers. He also shared pictures of people with massive gashes on the head and unconscious men lying with bandages wrapped around their limbs.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student organization affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, also claimed that its office in Kolkata had been attacked and vandalized by ‘goons’ from the TMC.
Mamata Banerjee Goons Attack ABVP Office in Kolkata
— ABVP (@ABVPVoice) May 3, 2021
- The Trinamool Congress, meanwhile, claimed on Monday three of its supporters were killed by the BJP in West Bengal’s Purba Bardhaman district. The incident took place when some TMC supporters were on the way to Nabagram in the Jamalpur police station area on their motorcycles and were allegedly attacked by BJP workers, the sources said. The TMC said that its members were thrashed and their bikes were damaged. The BJP, meanwhile, rejected the allegations, saying the incidents were the result of “people’s resistance“.
- Sources said a woman who was among those injured in the incident was declared dead when taken to Jamalpur hospital. Local BJP leader Ashish Kshetrapal claimed that the woman was a BJP supporter and said TMC workers descended on the area shouting ‘Joy Bangla’ and ‘Khela Hobe’ slogans around 11 am. “We built a counter-resistance and the TMC attackers fled. But they returned via another route, forcibly entered my house, and attacked my family members. My mother died in the attack,” he said. The TMC supporters also injured his father and uncle, the local leader alleged, and added that the goons vandalized and looted 17-18 houses in the area. Following the incident, 23 people were detained and a contingent of central forces was in the area.
- In another incident in Samaspur in the Raina police station area, a 55-year-old man was killed in TMC-BJP clashes on Sunday night after the results were declared. Ganesh Mallick, known in the area as a TMC supporter, was injured after being hit by bamboo sticks. He was admitted to the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital where he died, the sources said. BJP district general secretary Shyamal Roy said the incident was a fall out of a family dispute, while TMC spokesperson Prosenjit Das said the BJP was resorting to violence in various areas after losing the poll.
- Reports of post-poll violence were received from Jalpaiguri in North Bengal too. The newly-elected MLA of Dabgram-Phulbari, Sikha Chatterjee of BJP alleged that miscreants supported by the TMC attacked her house. She took reporters inside her house to show them the destruction caused by the attackers. She alleged that houses of BJP workers were vandalized and a vehicle was damaged at Chunabhati area of Dabgram-Phulbari constituency, where state minister and senior TMC leader Gautam Deb was defeated by the BJP. In Moynaguri there were reports of a clash between the two groups at Chuadanga area in which several persons were injured and a motorbike was set on fire, police said. Several houses in the area were also vandalized, the police said, adding the injured were taken to hospitals. The BJP claimed that the injured were its supporters and the TMC denied any role in the clash. Police and central armed police force were rushed to the spot and RAF has been deployed.
- After the Bengal wing of BJP blamed TMC for targetting their workers, the Left, made similar allegations. In a tweet, Sitaram Yechury wrote: “Are these reports of gruesome violence in Bengal TMC’s ‘victory celebrations’? Condemnable. Will be resisted & rebuffed. Instead of focusing on combating the pandemic, TMC unleashes such mayhem. The CPI (M), as always, will be with the people to protect, assist, providing relief.” On reports of CPI (M)’s office at Chopra in North Dinajpur being set on fire, the Facebook page of the party clarified and said that building in the photos being shared was not theirs. The party advised people to verify reports before sharing them.
Are these reports of gruesome violence in Bengal TMC’s ‘victory celebrations’?Condemnable.
Will be resisted & rebuffed.
Instead of focusing on combating the pandemic TMC unleashes such mayhem.
CPI(M), as always, will be with the people to protect, assist, providing relief. pic.twitter.com/zZUSfNH4wn
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) May 3, 2021
- Following widespread violence in the state, Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar summoned the state Home Secretary, DGP, and Kolkata Commissioner of Police and directed them to restore peace. The Union Home Ministry also asked the West Bengal government for a report on the violence targeting opposition workers. Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, urged her supporters to maintain peace amid reports of violence and asked them not to fall prey to provocations. “Even after the results were announced, BJP attacked our supporters in certain areas but we ask our men not to get provoked and instead report to the police,” Mamata said at a press conference. The BJP, meanwhile, has announced a nationwide dharna on May 5 against the alleged post-election violence by TMC workers in Bengal.