BJP Protests Bengal Violence, Wants CBI To Probe Bhatpara Deaths

Kolkata:  Demanding a CBI inquiry into the alleged police firing that left two dead at Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district, the BJP on Friday held a rally in the city protesting against the rampant violence across West Bengal.

The saffron party also staged a demonstration in front of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate, demanding the arrest of culprits involved in the violent incident at Bhatpara.

Two persons were killed and several people injured after a fresh flare-up of violence at Bhatpara on Thursday while the police had to open fire, prompting the administration to impose prohibitory orders in the affected areas.

The BJP’s protest rally here was, however, stopped by the police at Central Avenue, though they planned to march from party’s state headquarters to Esplanade.

“People are threatened by the police and goons backed by Trinamool Congress. Many BJP workers were slapped with false cases. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is acting as a dictator in order to reclaim political ground in the state. She is against peace, though we keep on urging the same in the state,” party’s state General Secretary Raju Banerjee said.

BJP leaders alleged violence had been widespread across districts and were planned by state’s ruling Trinamool to frighten the common people.

“Despite imposition of Section 144 in Bhatpara and adjoining area, criminals from Kamarhati created violence in the area and hurled bombs. Section 144 has been imposed for local people but not for criminals.

“We would salute Police Commissioner if he arrests the criminals. Otherwise, we will continue movement against him if he fails to arrest them,” party MP Arjun Singh told reporters after submitting a deputation to Barrackpore Police Commissioner Manoj Kumar Verma.

He also alleged that the one of the deceased was shot in the head by the police “from point-blank range” on Thursday while several persons received bullet injuries.

As per sources in the local hospital and inputs from residents of the area, the twowho died in the firing are Ram Babu Shaw and Dharambir Shaw. 

BJP’s national Secretary Rahul Sinha said the party seeks a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the incident to bring out the truth as local people said that two civilians were killed due to police firing.

“Trinamool Congress is claiming they are not involved in the incident. The locals claimed it was the police which opened fire and killed innocent civilians. A CBI inquiry is needed to bring out the truth,” he said.

About allegation whether outsiders led by the BJP had incited the violence, Sinha said it was a “baseless” allegation and the CBI inquiry can expose the reality.

Wearing black badges, BJP leaders including Arjun Singh, his son and Bhatpara MLA Pawan Singh and Noapara MLA Sunil Singh who recently defected to the saffron party from state’s ruling Trinamool joined the mourning procession on Friday. 

Meanwhile, a clash broke out on Friday between the police and local people during the mourning procession of two deceased civilians and police allegedly lobbed tear gas shells after stones were pelted on them. 

Pawan Singh claimed a section of people “do not want peace to be restored in the area as they have not yet accepted their defeat in the Barrackpore Lok Sabha polls and Assembly by-polls in Bhatpara”.

“Many anti-socials, who were behind bars, have been granted bails now, which is a matter of concern,” he alleged.

A central BJP delegation is likely to visit Bhatpara on Saturday and they would submit a report about the incident to party President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the party sources said.

The violence erupted on a day the new Bhatpara police station was scheduled to be inaugurated by the DGP. But such was the ferocity of the clash that he returned midway and rushed to the state Secretariat, Nabanna where the government called an urgent meeting to tackle the violence.

Internet services in the affected area have also been restricted in view of sudden law and order problem.

Accusing the BJP of spreading violence in the area, state Minister and Trinamool leader Bratya Basu said “the saffron party wants to establish a fact that they would create unrest in the areas where the MP, MLA and Municipality Chairman would be from the BJP”.

“They want to turn all the places like Bhatpara,” he said.

Bhatpara falls under Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency won by the BJP, while it also wrested the Bhatpara Assembly from the ruling Trinamool in the recent by-polls. Arjun Singh was also Chairman of the Bhatpara Municipality.