Union minister V Muraleedharan on Thursday tweeted a video of his convoy allegedly being attacked during his visit to West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district. The minister, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, alleged that the miscreants who attacked it were “Trinamool Congress goons”.
The video showed that the minister’s convoy was stopped by men who were armed with sticks and rods. As the car tried to turn away from the crowd, someone threw a stick through the rear window of the vehicle. The authenticity of the video has not been confirmed by Scroll.in.
In the tweet, Muraleedharan said that he was cutting his trip short after the attack.
After the attack, BJP leader Prakash Javadekar asked if a minister’s convoy can be attacked, then who was safe in Bengal. “This is state-sponsored violence,” he alleged, according to ANI. “We condemn violence in Bengal. Special measures should be taken to bring the culprits to justice.”
Earlier on Thursday, the Union home ministry formed a four-member team to inquire into reports of post-poll violence in West Bengal. This came after the ministry on Wednesday wrote for the second time in three days to the West Bengal government, seeking a report in post-poll violence in the state.
The central government’s actions are in the light of reports of political clashes in the state since elections results were announced on May 2.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has alleged that “more than nine” of its members have been killed, while the Indian Secular Front has claimed that one its members lost his life due to the violence. The ruling Trinamool Congress too has said that four members of the party were killed in the clashes. Various news reports have put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police have not confirmed the numbers.
‘They’re not ready to accept mandate’: Banerjee
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused BJP leaders of “roaming around and provoking” residents in the state.
“It has not even [been] 24 hours of the new government, they are sending letters, teams and leaders are coming,” she said during a briefing, reported ANI. “They are actually not ready to accept the mandate. I request them to accept people’s mandate.”
Banerjee said that so far 16 people had died during the post-election violence in the state. “Those who died in the post-poll violence will be given a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each without any discrimination,” she added. “...16 were killed half of whom are from TMC and half from BJP, one was from Sanjukta Morcha.”
The West Bengal chief minister also said that jobs in the state’s Home Guard will be provided to the families of those who died during a firing incident in Cooch Behar district.
On April 10, at least four persons were killed in Sitalkuchi after central security forces opened fire at a polling booth during the fourth phase of voting, following a clash with locals. In a separate incident, another person was shot dead after he was dragged outside a polling booth.
Banerjee had then said that her government will initiate a Crime Investigation Department inquiry into the deaths.