The political fight between the TMC and the BJP is gradually soaring over the burning deaths of eight people in Birbhum district. The saffron party wants to defame the TMC and Mamata Banerjee. But the West Bengal CM is not behind in the counter attack and said such kinds of incidents took place earlier in several states like UP, Gujarat, Bihar and so on.
During this political fight, Mamata Birbhum, is set to visit the area today to look at the situation. The Chief Minister has been accused by the opposition BJP of presiding over a complete collapse of law and order in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday described the killings as “heinous” and said those responsible for them should not be forgiven.
Eight people burnt alive
Eight people, including three women and two children, were locked in their homes and burnt alive by a mob on Tuesday in what was believed to be retaliation after a local Trinamool Congress leader was killed in a crude bomb attack. Charred bodies were found a day later, mostly belonging to one family.
Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday vowed strict action, “regardless of political colours”, and announced that she would visit the village of Bogtui, where the horrific incident took place.
WB govt ready to investigate the matter
The state government has set up a special investigation team, and some 20 people have been arrested. However, the BJP has demanded a central investigation, the sacking of the Chief Minister, and President’s Rule.
Calcutta HC criticises killings.
Yesterday, the Calcutta High Court stepped in and said not enough was being done to catch those responsible for the attack, and ordered the state government to protect witnesses and set up CCTV cameras at the site. The court also asked the state government to file a report on the incident by 2 pm today.
Several policemen are at the village on the outskirts of Rampurhat town, where many residents have fled, fearing reprisals or arrests. The 10 houses that were set on fire are deserted.
The violence spiralled after the killing of Trinamool Panchayat deputy chief Bhadu Sheikh. According to the news agency PTI, his sons are among the suspects picked up by the police.
Since Tuesday, several political leaders, mainly from the BJP, have visited the village, along with a TV crew.
PM Modi said his government was willing to help the state in any way to bring the accused to justice.
“I hope that the state government will definitely ensure that those who have committed such heinous crimes are punished,” Modi said.
I would also urge the people of Bengal to never forgive the perpetrators of such incidents, those who encourage such criminals. The centre would extend all sorts of help to the state government to ensure the culprits are booked, “he said.
Mamata Banerjee, who has come under a fierce attack from the BJP, alleged a conspiracy to defame her government.
Attempt to defame our govt: Mamata
It was an attempt by the BJP, the Left and the Congress to malign our government. Strict action will be taken against all those responsible for the Birbhum incident, irrespective of their (political) colour, “she said.
Without naming anyone, Ms Banerjee said that the incident was orchestrated because “they failed to cause a riot”.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who has had a difficult relationship with the Chief Minister throughout his tenure, alleged that the incident had put democracy and humanity to shame.
In a letter to Ms Banerjee, Mr. Dhankhar said the state government’s actions smacked of “political overtones” and an attempt to shield the guilty.
In the face of such enormity, I cannot fiddle in Raj Bhavan and be a mute spectator, “he wrote.
Stung by the governor’s accusations, Ms Banerjee said: “There is one ‘Lat Saheb’ (lordly person) sitting here who is describing Bengal as the worst state and hurling abuses at the state government.”
Attack on TMC leaders
In two separate incidents, two TMC leaders have been reportedly attacked in West Bengal, just days after a TMC panchayat leader was killed in Birbhum district, which led to an arson attack in Birbhum killing eight people.
The newly elected councillor of Hooghly’s Tarakeswar, Roopa Sarkar, was allegedly rammed by a car. She has been taken to a hospital where her condition has been declared critical. The incident took place on Wednesday night.
As per the police complaint, MS Sarkar was returning home on a bike when a maruti van hit the bike from behind. She was taken to the hospital with severe injuries. She alleges it was an attempt to kill her. A police investigation has been initiated.
In another incident, a local TMC leader was shot at in West Bengal’s Nadia on Wednesday night.
According to local sources, the victim has been identified as Sahadev Mandal, a local TMC leader and husband of panchayat member of Bogula Gram Panchayat No. 2, Anima Mandal.
An injured Sahadeva was rescued by the locals, who took him to Bagula Health Center. When his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to Krishnanagar Shakti Nagar Hospital.
This is yet another case of newly elected civic body representatives being attacked. Recently, a TMC ward councillor was gunned down in Panihati. Similarly, a Congress councillor in Jhalda was killed.