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BJP Delegation Visits Violence-Hit Asansol Defying Prohibitory Orders

The four-member central BJP delegation, led by Om Prakash Mathur, were not stopped by the West Bengal police from entering the relief camps in Asansol despite Section 144 of the CrPc being imposed in the area.

Prema Rajaram | CNN-News18

Updated:April 1, 2018, 8:07 PM IST
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BJP Delegation Visits Violence-Hit Asansol Defying Prohibitory Orders
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly stayed back longer at Chandmari to hear the pleas of the local residents.(Photo: CNN-News18)
Asansol: The four-member central BJP delegation, led by Om Prakash Mathur, visited the violence-hit Asansol on Sunday to hear the grievances and pleas of the people on ground.

The visit comes a day after West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi visited Asansol.

Curiously, the members were not stopped by the police from entering the relief camps in Asansol despite Section 144 of the CrPc being imposed in the area.

With Panchayat election dates announced and the model code of conduct in place, the BJP leaders had to watch their step.

The convoy which started from Kolkata in the morning, halted on the highway just before making their way into the main area of Asansol. The police team which was standing at Kalipahari explained to the leaders the regulations in place and asked them not to violate norms, especially when Asansol is limping back to normalcy.

The convoy then moved towards the relief camps in Dhadka and Chandpahari as leaders reached out to the people, who are desperate to see their lives back to normal.

"We appealed to the police to help us, but they didn't come to our aid, instead they attacked us. That is why we went out on the streets in protest. Now with Section 144 in place, our ID cards are being checked," said Bablu Biswas, a resident of Asansol.

Another resident Hemant Kumar Singh of Chandmari said, "BJP leaders are here to speak to the people. The administration is not doing anything for us. Instead, those who are speaking up are slapped with an FIR."

When CNN-News18 spoke to BJP Rajya Sabha MP Om Prakash Mathur, he said: "The state administration should have been more alert to avoid trouble during the procession. Seven days have passed by, no one has heard the pleas of the people. We will submit a report to Delhi."

Overwhelmed by the anger of the people in her state, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly stayed back longer at Chandmari to hear the pleas of the local residents. "The pictures we had of the incident were gory and did not play it out to the media. But we know the real story," said Ganguly when questioned about what she hoped to take back to Delhi from her Asansol visit.

The police played calm instead of holding up a resistance to the BJP delegation, a move that hopes to silence the BJP that was prepared to be stopped at Asansol. With BJP president Amit Shah scheduled to visit Kolkata next week, the Trinamool Congress government is playing it safe, lest the BJP get an edge over the ruling party in the upcoming Panchayat polls.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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