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8 killed in BJP-TMC clashes in Bengal

8 killed in BJP-TMC clashes in Bengal
BJP workers burn a photograph of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during a protest against alleged failure of law and order situation in various districts of West Bengal, Sunday.
KOLKATA, JUN 9 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 6/9/2019 11:52:40 AM IST

Political violence in Bengal took a dramatic turn as the state BJP, following a face-off with the police, prepared to cremate the bodies of the workers who died in Saturday’s clash on the Basanti highway. Hundreds of agitated workers gathered at the spot and preparations had started for a funeral pyre. But the party reversed the decision midway, announcing a series of protests, including a statewide “Black Day”.

The BJP wanted to take the bodies to Kolkata and arrange an elaborate ceremony on Monday to pay respects. But stopped by the police midway, they said they would hold the last rites on the highway.

Later, the party said it will observe a local strike and a statewide “Black Day” on June 10, and hold a rally to Lalbazar, the police headquarters, on June 12.  

At least eight persons were allegedly killed and several others injured and missing following a clash between West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP workers in North 24 Parganas, sources in both parties claimed on Sunday.

While the state BJP sources claimed that five of their activists have been shot dead by the Trinamool backed men and 18 others have gone missing, a senior Trinamool Congress leader alleged three of their party workers have been killed in a bloodied clash that took place in Hatgachi area under Sandeshkhali Assembly constituency on Saturday evening. Police has so far confirmed deaths of three political workers comprising two from BJP and one from Trinamool Congress in the incident.

According to locals, the clash between the two groups started over the forceful removal of BJP’s flags on Saturday afternoon. It soon took a violent turn and bullets were flying.

Clashes between the workers of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP have been increasingly frequent as the battle for Bengal gains momentum.

Over the last 10 days, at least three clashes were reported from the state, in which three men were allegedly killed -- two from the Trinamool Congress and one from the BJP.

Centre issues advisory

Following the state BJP’s complaint to Union Home minister Amit Shah, the Centre has expressed deep concern over the continuing violence in Bengal. In an advisory to Mamata Banerjee’s government, saying it had failed to maintain law and order in the state.

“The unabated violence over the past weeks appears to be a failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of the state to maintain the rule of law and inspire confidence among people,” read the home ministry’s advisory to the state.

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah also sought a report from the West Bengal government on the incident of violence between the BJP and TMC workers.

“Union Home Minister has asked for a report from the state government and I am sure Centre will take this up seriously. There is a lot of anger among the people over the incident,” said Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP national general secretary.

 

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