At least three BJP and one Trinamool Congress workers were allegedly killed in a massive clash that broke out in Nazat area of Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Saturday. BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said three of its workers were killed, while according to Trinamool Congress Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick, one of his party workers was killed in the clash.
BJP workers have been identified as Tapan Mondal, Sukanta Mondal and Pradip Mondal, while the TMC worker was Kayum Mollah.
Sayantan Basu claimed that it was TMC workers who fired at their BJP counterparts, when Kayum Mollah came in between and received bullet injuries. He later died.
North 24 Parganas TMC president Jyotipriyo Mallick claimed the BJP “goons” attacked his party workers with arms, adding that there is somebody behind this incident, “may be some one who was with the TMC earlier, and now has joined the BJP”. “We do not want anyone to get killed, but if they kill our workers, we will not leave them at any cost,” he said.
There has been no official response from the administration and the police as yet.
”Chilling planned murder of an active TMC kormi Kayum Molla by @BJP4Bengal in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas. Murderers entered the meeting venue of TMC, shot Molla, dragged him out and chopped him with a cleaver. Happened only after instigation by trio BJP MPs visit yesterday,” Trinamool Congress leader Diptansu Chaudhury tweeted.
Chilling planned murder of an active TMC kormi Kayum Molla by @BJP4Bengal in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas. Murderers entered the meeting venue of TMC, shot Molla, dragged him out and chopped him with a cleaver. Happened only after instigation by trio BJP MPs visit yesterday. pic.twitter.com/eKqweL97vq— DIPTANSU CHAUDHURY (@ColDiptangshu) June 8, 2019
Blaming the Trinamool Congress for the attack on his party workers, senior BJP leader Mukul Roy, a former TMC MP, tweeted: “3 BJP workers shot dead by TMC goons in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal. @mamataofficial is directly responsible for unleashing violence against BJP workers. We will be reaching Union Home Minister Sh @amitshah ji to apprise him of Sandeshkhali killings.”
3 BJP workers shot dead by TMC goons in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal. @mamataofficial is directly responsible for unleashing violence against BJP workers.
We will be reaching Union Home Minister Sh @amitshah ji to apprise him of Sandeshkhali killings.— Mukul Roy (@MukulR_Official) June 8, 2019
Earlier in the day, a clash broke out between the police and BJP workers after the cops allegedly stopped a rally of BJP MP Dilip Ghosh at Gangarampur in West Bengal’s South Dinajpur. In the incident, one police sub-inspector and two civic volunteers received injuries and have been admitted to a nearby hospital.
“We are meeting people to thank them for voting for us. The police are not allowing us to meet people. Section-144 has been imposed at places. Trinamool Congress supporters are attacking us, a few of our supporters and police personnel have been injured,” Ghosh told news agency ANI.
West Bengal has witnessed widespread tension since the Lok Sabha Elections were announced in March earlier this year. Sporadic violence was reported during the 7-phase-long polls across state. Both the BJP and Trinamool have blamed each other for the bloodbath.
It should be noted that family members of over 40 BJP workers, who were killed in political violence in West Bengal, were also invited for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on May 30 last month. It was the very reason for which Mamata Banerjee had turned down the invite and said that the BJP was trying to politicise the oath-taking ceremony.
The rift has only deepened since the May 23 verdict which saw the BJP creating history in Bengal. The saffron party won 18 seats in the state with ruling Trinamool Congress getting 22 seats. The double-digit growth has given the BJP every reason to cheer. How important is the Bengal win was reflected in BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s victory speech at party headquarters in New Delhi on May 23.
The highly polarised elections in Bengal saw many firsts also. In an unprecedented move, the Election Commission of India had barred campaigning a day early, before the seventh and final phase, after a bout of clashes led to the damage of property, including a bust of reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.