Abhishek Banerjee’s convoy attacked by Kurmis demanding ST status in West Bengal

Kurmis in the State’s Jangalmahal region have been in protest over the past few months demanding Scheduled Tribe status

May 26, 2023 11:47 pm | Updated 11:47 pm IST - KOLKATA

A damaged vehicle after Kurmi community members allegedly attacked TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee’s convoy at Gar Salboni in Jhagram, on May 26, 2023.

A damaged vehicle after Kurmi community members allegedly attacked TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee’s convoy at Gar Salboni in Jhagram, on May 26, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

The convoy of Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee was attacked by members of the Kurmi community on Friday at Salboni in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district.

While the vehicle in which Mr. Banerjee was travelling escaped the wrath of the Kurmi community, the other vehicles in the convoy including that of State Minister Birbaha Hansda came under attack.

The people from the community, who had gathered alongside State Highway 5, allegedly pelted stones on the vehicles and attacked the Trinamool Congress supporters who were on motorbikes. Several vehicles were destroyed and some police personnel injured.

“This is not a fight for a particular community. Today, what happened has nothing to do with the demand of a community. This is hooliganism and we condemn it,” Ms. Hansda, MLA from Jhargram, who is a member of the Scheduled Caste Community, said.

Protests by Kurmis had occurred at Simlipal in the State’s Bankura district a few days ago when Abhishek Banerjee was participating in his party’s outreach programme. Mr. Banerjee had spoken to the members of the community to diffuse tension.

Kurmis, in the State’s Jangalmahal region, have been on protest over the past few months demanding Scheduled Tribe status. In the second week of April this year, members of the community organised road and railway blockades for five days in the State’s Jangalmhal region.

“Kurmis are Khalistanis”

Earlier this month, Trinamool Congress leader Ajit Maity came under severe criticism when he called Kurmis “Khalistanis”. Higher ups in the Trinamool, including the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had apologised for the reamark by the party leader.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former president of party’s West Bengal unit Dilip Ghosh had also faced the ire of the members of the community. Mr. Ghosh’s remark that they helped the “Kurmi andolan by sending rice and lentils” infuriated the members of the community.

The members of the Kurmi community had demanded an apology from Mr. Ghosh and held a protest near his residence at Kharagpur in Paschim Medinipur district. State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar had to apologise for Mr. Ghosh’s remarks.

“Today, what happened has nothing to do with the demand of a community”Birbaha HansdaMinister of State for Forests and Self Help and Self Employment Group (Independent Charge)

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.