BJP, TMC clash near Kolkata after stones hurled at MP Arjun Singh
Clashes broke out between BJP and TMC supporters in Bhatpara near Kolkata on Sunday as stones were allegedly hurled at Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh when he was attending a programme to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, police said.
Two cars, including a police vehicle, were vandalised in the clashes in the hotbed of political unrest in North 24 Parganas district, they said.
The BJP MP was rescued and sent to his residence safely, said Joint Commissioner of Police Dhruba Jyoti Dey.
A large contingent of police along with senior officers was deputed at the spot, he said.
BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar, flanked by Arjun Singh, told a hurriedly called press meet that Bhatpara MLA Pawan Singh was attacked by Trinamool Congress (TMC) activists when he was leaving the spot after garlanding Netaji's bust.
''As Pawan Singh was mobbed by the TMC miscreants, he called up Arjun Singh who rushed to the spot. Both were attacked by the TMC activists who also fired several rounds. The security guard of Arjun Singh then had to fire in self-defence as his life was in danger. The car of our MP was vandalised by the TMC miscreants who did this at the instigation of the top leadership. We are informing the Centre about the incident. There should be a high-level probe,” he said The Barrackpore MP said he has informed the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Governor about the incident. On the other hand, TMC leaders claimed Singh has now become irrelevant and is trying to create trouble ahead of municipal elections.
Condemning the incident, the Bengal BJP chief said with an MP being prevented from laying a wreath at Netaji’s statue on his 125th birth anniversary, the deteriorating law and order situation in the state has come to the fore. Majumdar alleged that democracy has collapsed in West Bengal and the police have turned silent spectators as ruling party workers are terrorising BJP activists and leaders.
Despite having Z category security, Arjun Singh said he was attacked by TMC workers who tried to prevent him from placing a wreath at Netaji's bust. ''It was a planned attack… We did not know TMC has appropriated Netaji in this way that BJP cannot show respect to the national icon, he said '' TMC Naihati MLA Partha Bhowmik claimed Arjun Singh has hatched a conspiracy to foment disturbances in Bhatpara area and it was a pre-planned incident.
''There was no provocation on our part. Pawan Singh picked up trouble with the people present on the spot and the Barrackpore MP arrived soon afterwards with security personnel in four cars. He used abusive language and suddenly his security guards fired seven rounds,'' he said.
The TMC MLA alleged that Singh was trying to instigate riots in Bhatpara and cautioned his party workers to foil any such attempt. WBPCC president Adhir Chowdhury said any incident of bombing and firing on the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose only tarnishes the image of Bengal.
'' I don't know who is responsible for the violence. But I would request all parties not to resort to violence on Netaji’s birthday. It doesn't go well with the culture and ethos of Bengal,'' Chowdhury told reporters in Baharampur.
Netaji’s grand nephew and president of Netaji Research Bureau Sugata Bose said ''such incidents shouldn't have taken place on the great patriot's birthday”. On Saturday night, crude bombs were hurled at TMC's party office on BT Road in the nearby Panihati area, leading to clashes between the two sides, police said.
Both the incidents are being investigated and arrests are yet to be made, they said. PTI BSM SUS MM MM
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)