Watch: ‘Central forces should have killed 8, not 4, in Sitalkuchi,’ says BJP’s Rahul Sinha
Sinha, who is contesting polls from Habra constituency in Bengal, said the security personnel responded appropriately and warned of similar action in future.
West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rahul Sinha on Monday said the central forces should have killed eight instead of four people in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi, reported Anandabazar Patrika. Sinha’s comments came a day after state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh warned of more “Sitalkuchi-like incidents”.
Violence marred the fourth phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections on April 10 when four people were killed as the central security force personnel opened fire at a polling booth in Sitalkuchi after some locals allegedly clashed with them. Another person was also shot dead that day outside a polling booth in the same district by unidentified men.
“Not four, eight people should have been shot dead in Sitalkuchi,” Sinha said after a roadshow in Habra constituency. “The central forces should be issued a showcause notice asking why they killed four and not eight. An 18-year-old boy was shot dead in public at a polling station for doing [supporting] BJP. And their leader is Mamata Banerjee.” Sinha is contesting elections from Habra constituency.
Sinha said the central forces responded appropriately in Sitalkuchi and warned of similar action in future. “Goons are trying to deprive the people of their democratic rights by establishing their power,” he alleged. “The central forces responded appropriately. If it happens again, they will answer again.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee castigated Sinha for his remarks, reported Anandabazar Patrika. “They say eight and not four people should have been killed,” she said. “These are the leaders of our country?”
Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal minister Jyoti Priya Mallick said the saffron party should be banned. “The BJP is a barbaric, uncivilised, and violent party,” said Mallick. “The Election Commission should ban this party.”
On Sunday, the TMC had sought a ban on election campaigning by Dilip Ghosh for his remarks on the Sitalkuchi incident. The TMC, in its complaint to the Election Commission, said Ghosh’s comment justified “murder” and demanded that the poll panel initiate legal proceedings against the BJP leader, besides restricting him from campaigning during the ongoing Assembly elections.
Following the violence on Saturday, the Election Commission had adjourned voting at one of the polling booths in Sitalkuchi. The poll panel also banned politicians from entering Cooch Behar district till Tuesday. Additionally, it extended the silence period before the next phase of the West Bengal elections, which is scheduled to take place on April 17, from 48 hours to 72 hours. The decision effectively cut short the campaigning period by a day.