At least one person was killed on Saturday in violent clashes that broke out between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool Congress in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, reports said.
The BJP claimed three of its party workers were killed in the clashes, while the Trinamool Congress blamed the BJP for allegedly killing one of its workers.
The police confirmed one death on Saturday evening, but said the number could rise. “One person is dead and several others are critically injured,” an unidentified local police officer told The Indian Express. “More deaths are expected, unfortunately.”
West Bengal minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said a Trinamool Congress supporter, identified as 26-year-old Qayyum Mollah, was allegedly shot and hacked to death, reported News18. “When Qayyum was on his way to attend a party meeting, he was hacked at first,” Mullick said. “When he managed to free himself, he was shot dead. The BJP is trying to vitiate the atmosphere and disturb peace in the district.”
The BJP’s West Bengal unit, however, said on Twitter that three party workers were shot dead in Basirhat in North 24 Parganas by Chief Minister “Mamata Banerjee’s goons”. “She [Banerjee] is getting desperate with each passing moment as she loses peoples’ support,” the party said. “In her bid to retain power at any cost, killing opposition party members is the new normal in Bengal.”
But state BJP General Secretary Sayantan Basu said four party workers – Sukanta Mondal, Pradip Mondal, Tapan Mandal and Debdas Mondal – were shot dead when they stopped Trinamool Congress workers from “throwing away” their party flags. Basu said they had received the bodies of three workers.
BJP leader Mukul Roy also claimed that four party workers were killed by “TMC goons”. “Their [Trinamool Congress] leader and CM is indulging in a reign of terror, we have sent a message to Home Minister Amit Shah ji, Kailash Vijayvargiya ji and our state leaders,” ANI quoted Roy as saying. “A team of MPs will visit Sandeshkhali tomorrow and send a report to the Home Minister, we will protest against this democratically.” A BJP delegation led by Roy will visit Sandeshkhali in Basirhat on Sunday, reported ANI.