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BJP holds massive protest in West Bengal's Nandigram after worker killed in alleged TMC-instigated violence ahead of polling
Photo courtesy:YouTube video grab

BJP holds massive protest in West Bengal's Nandigram after worker killed in alleged TMC-instigated violence ahead of polling

| @indiablooms | 23 May 2024, 07:45 pm

Nandigram (West Bengal): Ahead of the sixth and penultimate phase of polling for the Lok Sabha election in West Bengal on May 25, reports of violence have emerged from East Medinipur district's Nandigram, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that its several workers were attacked by members of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) last night, media reported.

The BJP held a protest march in Nandigram, alleging that one of its female workers, Rotibala Ari, was killed and seven others sustained injuries in the incident. The injured individuals have been hospitalized for treatment, reported News 18.

In the wake of the violence, an angry mob set fire to several shops, prompting a 12-hour bandh (shutdown) in Nandigram.

The local BJP leadership asserted that ahead of the elections, BJP supporters, including women activists, conduct night patrolling in the Sonachura area periodically to monitor and deter anti-social elements during the polls.

According to local BJP leader Meghnad Pal, in the early hours of Thursday, while a similar patrol was underway, a group of unidentified miscreants arrived on motorcycles and attacked the patrolling team with sharp weapons.

“In that attack, Rotibala was killed and her son, who was injured, is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital. We strongly believe that these unknown miscreants were linked to the ruling Trinamool Congress,” Pal was quoted as saying by News18.

Denouncing the violence, BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya said TMS Chief Mamata Banerjee must be held responsible for her inflammatory statements and consequent action by criminal members of her party.

“16th May, 2024 – Mamata Banerjee, at a rally in Haldia, threatened to take revenge for her defeat in Nandigram. She lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari, but still shamelessly took over as Chief Minister. On 23rd May, 2024 – BJP worker Rathibala Arhi is murdered in Nandigram. I condemn Trinamool supporters cowardly attack on BJP workers in Nandigram. Trinamool supporters attacked BJP workers with sharp weapons in the Sonachura area of Nandigram. Seven people were injured in the incident. Rathibala Arhi, a woman BJP worker, lost her life. Such violence is unacceptable in democracy,” he said in a post on X.

However, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) denied any involvement in the violence, saying the clashes stemmed from internal rivalry among BJP workers.

According to the report, TMC leader in Nandigram, Swadesh Das dismissing the allegation. He said, “There were some family disputes and the killing could be the consequence of that.”

Another senior officer of the district police stated that an investigation into the killing of the woman is currently underway.

So far, no arrests or detentions have been made by the police in connection with the violence.

On Wednesday, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee held a rally in Nandigram, the assembly constituency of the leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari, seeking vote for his party’s Tamluk candidate Debangshu Bhattacharya.

He told the rally that the BJP needed to be voted out of power to save the reservation rights of the people. Notably, the Calcutta High Court cancelled all the OBC reservation certificates issued after 2010.

Abhishek Banerjee called Nandigram BJP MLA and former Mamata strongman Suvendu Adhikary a “gaddar” and questioned if he really worked for his constituency.

He claimed that a change in the Central regime was imminent and TMC will play a critical role in the formation of the government.

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