BJP national president JP Nadda on said on Thursday that in the last two days, 11 workers and supporters of the party have lost their lives while two have been gang-raped in West Bengal after Assembly election results were declared giving a thumping majority to the ruling Trinamool Congress. The state was in the throes of widespread violence on Monday that allegedly left several BJP workers dead and injured in clashes, and shops being looted, prompting the Centre to seek a factual report from the government on incidents of attack on opposition workers. Officials said four people were also killed in alleged clashes between TMC and BJP supporters in Burdwan district on Sunday and Monday. The TMC claimed three of them were its supporters.
Hitting out at TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, Nadda said the chief minister is a symbol of intolerance and the BJP will expose her real face before the people in Bengal. Nadda, who arrived in Kolkata on Tuesday, met family members of victims in Kolkata and its neighbouring districts and assured them of full cooperation in this hour of crisis. He also promised to not let their their sacrifice for the party go in vain.
Nadda said the TMC represents dictatorship and lawlessness and this has once again been proved as the law and order in the state has completely collapsed since the results were declared on May 2. “I interacted with the victims’ family members and the way they narrated the ordeal is shocking. As the BJP national president, I would like to assure them that justice will be served in a democratic manner,” he said.
He urged Banerjee, who will take over as the chief minister for the third time in a row, to look at what was happening across the state. “The law and order is worrying and alarming. What has the TMC done after victory? They are killing our workers and it shows the TMC does not believe in democracy. It is unfortunate that TMC workers and police are claiming that videos of violence circulating on social media are fake. We all know how the house of Haran Adhikari was ransacked and the family members were thrashed at Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas district. TMC goons dragged Adhikari out of his house and killed him. We all saw how Adhikari’s wife and son were crying. I would like to request the media to expose the real face of TMC before the nation.”
Nadda also criticised the state administration’s failure in ensuring safety and security of people in the state. “It is shameful that the administration is sitting like a mute spectator and not taking any action against the attackers. Let them (administration) behave like a mute spectator, but I would like to assure the victim’s family members that all the party workers are standing by them,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him and expressed anguish at the failing law and order in the state.
“PM called and expressed his serious anguish and concern at alarmingly worrisome law & order situation @MamataOfficial. I share grave concerns @PMOIndia given that violence vandalism, arson, loot and killings continue unabated," Dhankhar wrote on Twitter. “Police @WBPolice @CPKolkata must end senseless political violence, vandalism, arson, killings and intimidation that shames democracy. Why post poll violence only WB? Why this assault on democracy?" the governor wrote.
Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said more than 300 BJP workers and their family members from Bengal crossed over to Dhubri in Assam to save their lives. Later, he wrote on Twitter, “In a sad development 300-400 @BJP4Bengal karyakartas and family members have crossed over to Dhubri in Assam after being confronted with brazen persecution & violence. We’re giving shelter & food. @MamataOfficial. Didi must stop this ugly dance of democracy!”
On May 5, the BJP is planning to hold nationwide protests under Nadda’s leadership against the widespread violence by TMC cadres.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) ordered a spot inquiry of the violence reported from several districts in Bengal. The district administration and local law and order enforcement agencies appeared not to have acted to stop such violation of human rights of the affected persons, it said. “Considering as a fit case of alleged violation of Right to Life of the innocent citizens, the commission has today taken suo-motu cognizance of the matter and has requested its DIG (Investigation) to constitute a team of officers of the Investigation Division of the commission to conduct an on-the-spot fact-finding investigation and to submit a report at the earliest, preferably within two weeks," it said in a statement.
The National Commission of Women (NCW) also expressed concern over violence and requested the local administration to take immediate action against the accused. “The NCW has come across Twitter posts wherein some goons can be seen beating up women in Nandigram, West Bengal post elections. The commission is deeply perturbed and has viewed this incident seriously as it questions the safety and security of women in the state. Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to the Director General of Police (DGP), West Bengal, to take immediate action and arrest the accused without any delay. The NCW has sought a time-bound investigation in the matter. A team, headed by the NCW chairperson, will be visiting Bengal for further inquiry into the matter,” a statement said.