Invoke Article 355 in West Bengal over Birbhum killings, Congress leader writes to President

BJP MPs in Lok Sabha seeks central intervention, killings not political violence, Trinamool says

March 23, 2022 10:58 pm | Updated 10:58 pm IST - New Delhi

The law and order situation in West Bengal is completely broken and Article 355 should be invoked to ensure the State is governed as per the provisions of the Constitution, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said in a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday in the wake of Birbhum violence.

Earlier in the day, Lok Sabha members of the BJP showed placards against the Mamata Banerjee in the House.

Responding to it, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said whatever happened in Birbhum had nothing to do with any political fight and noted that around 20 people have been arrested by the State police in connection with the incident. “Please don’t do politics over this issue,” said Mr. Bandyopadhyay.

Referring to the incident in his letter to President Kovind, Mr. Chowdhry said, “On Monday, the 21st March 2022, there was a violent fight between two groups of the ruling party in Bogtui village in Birbhum district. The Deputy Pradhan, Shri Bhadu Sheikh was killed and in retaliation houses in the area were attacked and set on fire resulting in 12 deaths including that of women and children. All the members belong to the minority community”.

The Congress leader, who is also the party’s chief in West Bengal, said the law and order machinery had broken down in the State and there have been as many as 26 political murders last month.

“In view of the deteriorating law and order situation in West Bengal, I request you to invoke Article 355 of the Constitution to ensure that the Government of West Bengal is carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution,” he added.

Article 355 refers to the provision in the Constitution that states that “It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”.

Inside the Lok Sabha, BJP member Sukanta Mazumdar quoted eyewitness accounts of the locals to allege that the killings in Birbhum happened in the presence of local police.

Mr. Majumdar said the deaths of so many people as an act of revenge following the killing of a panchayat leader of the Trinamool has shamed humanity.

“We want the Central government’s intervention in the State of West Bengal to stop the state-sponsored terrorism,” read a placard raised by one of the BJP MPs in the House.

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