1 dead, several injured in West Bengal post-poll clashes

Trinamool Congress and BJP accuse each other.

May 25, 2019 05:20 pm | Updated 05:21 pm IST - Kolkata

BJP supporters argue with police officials during a protest after an incident of clash between BJP and Trinamool Congress supporters during counting of votes at Balurghat in South Dinajpur district of West Bengal on May 23, 2019.

BJP supporters argue with police officials during a protest after an incident of clash between BJP and Trinamool Congress supporters during counting of votes at Balurghat in South Dinajpur district of West Bengal on May 23, 2019.

Violent incidents were reported from across West Bengal on May 25 in which one person died and many were injured, officials said, as a face-off brewed between the ruling Trinamool Congress and a surging BJP after the Lok Sabha results were declared.

The Trinamool Congress alleged that a number of its party offices have either been taken over or vandalised by BJP workers.

Police sources said Trinamool workers were beaten up allegedly by BJP supporters in Coochbehar’s Sitai, Titagarh in North 24 Parganas and New Town area near Kolkata.

In Coochbehar, the Trinamool alleged its party offices at Bakshirhat, Mahishkuchi, Rampur, Shalbari were vandalised by BJP activists. Trinamool office in Sitalkuchi area of the district was also ransacked.

“Since the results came in, BJP workers have either locked down our party offices or vandalised them or set them on fire,” Trinamool’s Sitalkuchi block president Abed Ali Miya said.

BJP’s Nisith Pramanik defeated Trinamool’s Paresh Adhikary on the Coochbehar seat.

The BJP, on the other hand, alleged its workers were attacked by Trinamool activists in the district’s Bakshirkuti area during a victory procession.

Though the Trinamool has denied the allegations, the BJP said its members from the minority community were attacked with sticks and spears.

In Sitai area of the district, Trinamool alleged that country-made bombs were hurled at the house of a leader of its women’s outfit.

Similar incidents were also reported from the Bankura district, where the BJP alleged that a local leader was shot at.

The incident happened in Saltora area of the district on May 24 morning when BJP leader Bidyut Das (42) was leading a victory rally, BJP district president Vivekananda Patra said. He accused local Trinamool leader Kali Roy of leading the attack despite police presence. When contacted, Trinamool district president Arup Khan refused to comment.

Bankura Superintendent of Police Koteswara Rao. N said complaints have been filed by both the parties and the situation is under control.

In Panchmura area of the district, Trinamool alleged that an office of its trade union, INTTUC, has been vandalised by BJP workers and houses of several leaders were attacked on Friday night. BJP has denied the allegations, saying the incident happened because of Trinamool’s infighting. BJP’s Subhas Sarkar defeated State Minister Subrata Mukherejee, a veteran politician, on the Bankura seat.

Clashes have also been reported from Bhatpara and Kakinada areas under the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, where BJP’s Arjun Singh defeated Dinesh Trivedi of the Trinamool.

Trinamool alleged that its party offices have been taken over by Mr. Singh’s men in Kakinda area. Police said forces have been deployed to control the situation. “We have got reports of violence from Bijpur and Naihati as well. Police picketing has been increased in these areas,” a police official said. Several bikes were set on fire, shops were vandalised, houses belonging to TMC workers were ransacked by alleged BJP workers in these areas, he added.

A 23-year-old BJP worker was shot dead in Nadia district’s Chakdaha town last night with the saffron party alleging that TMC men were behind the incident.

BJP leaders and workers blocked National Highway 34 and railway tracks at several places across the district to protest the killing, police said.

Several houses of CPI(M) supporters in Bhangar, part of Jadavpur Lok Sabha seat, were attacked and ransacked allegedly by Trinamool workers. CPI(M) MLA Sujan Chakraborty said Trinamool leader Arabul Islam’s supporters vandalised the houses. Mr. Islam, however, denied the allegations.

There were reports of unrest from Narendrapur area in southern fringes of Kolkata as well. A number of shops and houses of Trinamool workers have also been allegedly vandalised in Jamboni area of Jhargram, where BJP’s Kunar Hembram defeated Trinamool’s Birbaha Saren.

The reports of violence came even after 200 companies of central forces are present in the State.

West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has appealed to the people to maintain peace in accordance with the rich culture of the State.

In a statement, the governor also thanked the people for their participation in the polls and urged them to unitedly work for the prosperity and progress of the state and the nation.

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