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Three-member BJP Delegation to Visit Bhatpara Today as Fresh Clashes Claim Two Lives in Bengal

Clashes have been reported between the members of the saffron party and the police Friday in Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district after BJP MP Arjun Singh took out a procession with the bodies of two persons killed there on Thursday.

PTI

Updated:June 22, 2019, 12:00 AM IST
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Three-member BJP Delegation to Visit Bhatpara Today as Fresh Clashes Claim Two Lives in Bengal
File photo of Union minister SS Ahluwalia. (Getty Image)
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Kolkata: The BJP organised marches and gheraoed the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate on Friday in protest against the killings of two persons in Bhatpara, even as both the ruling TMC and the opposition BJP blamed each other for fomenting trouble in the area.

The BJP also named a three-member delegation, led by former union minister and MP SS Ahluwalia, to visit the trouble-torn Bhatpara on Saturday and submit a report to party president and Union home minister Amit Shah.

Clashes have been reported between the members of the saffron party and the police Friday in Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district after BJP MP Arjun Singh took out a procession with the bodies of two persons killed there Thursday.

Stepping up protests over the incident, the saffron party organised marches in several parts of West Bengal during the day.

Expressing concern over Friday's incident, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh wondered whether the TMC government was at all interested in bringing back peace in the area.

"Are they really interested in bringing back peace. Or they just want it to linger till the next assembly polls. How can a state government be so insensitive while dealing with their subjects," Ghosh said.

"Our party leadership has named three-member delegation led by our MP from Bengal S S Ahluwalia that will visit Bhatpara tomorrow. He will be accompanied by MP Satya Pal Singh and BD Ram. Other state leaders will also accompany them," BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargia told PTI.

While Ahluwalia is an MP from the state, Singh and Ram are former police officers besides being MP from Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand respectively.

"Tomorrow we would visit Bhatpara. The kind of violence that has been unleashed is unprecedented. We condemn such violence being perpetrated by the state government," Ahluwalia told PTI.

Raising fingers at the state police, the BJP central leadership accused them of acting as "TMC cadres" and demanded a CBI inquiry into the Bhatpara firing incident on Thursday.

The authorities have imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in and around the area following the violence.

The ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP blamed each other for the clashes, which is seen as an attempt to establish dominance in Bhatpara, which comes under the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency.

"Mamata Banerjee and her party goons along with police have turned Bengal into killing fields just because the BJP won 18 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

"The kind of terror they have let loose in Bengal is unprecedented. They are trying to wipe out BJP cadres and voters from the Bhatpara area. But this will not yield any result," Vijayvargia, BJP in-charge of Bengal, said.

BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said the saffron party would seek a CBI inquiry into the incident to bring out the truth.

"It has been decided by our party that we would seek CBI inquiry into the incident to bring out the truth. The police is claiming they have not opened fire.

"The TMC is claiming they are not involved in the incident. The locals are saying it was the police which opened fire and killed innocent civilians. So in order to bring out the truth, a CBI inquiry is needed," Sinha told PTI.

Asked about the allegation that outsiders led by the BJP had engineered the ruckus, Sinha termed it as "baseless", and said only a CBI inquiry can unravel the truth.

Reacting to the BJP's demand for a CBI inquiry, senior TMC leader and minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said the BJP wants to "tamper evidence" about its involvement in the Bhatpara incident.

"Since the declaration of Lok Sabha polls results, the BJP has been attacking minorities and Bengali families in the area," Mullick said.

On the BJP delegation's scheduled visit to the area, TMC district president and state minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said the purpose of the visit is to add fuel to the fire.

"They are coming here to ensure violence continues in the area. But the people of the area will resist any such attempt. We would also appeal to police administration to be more careful as the main intention of BJP is to create violence," he said.

Director General of Police Virendra had said after visiting the spot on Thursday, "The cause of the deaths is under investigation."

A TMC citadel for long, Bhatpara has been witnessing frequent post-poll violence between the rival parties.

The fight has intensified ever since TMC MLA Arjun Singh crossed over to the BJP and was elected to Lok Sabha from Barrackpore. Bhatpara comes under the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency.

In the by-election to the Bhatpara Assembly seat that were held along with the Lok Sabha elections, Arjun Singh's son Pawan Singh defeated TMC candidate and former state minister Madan Mitra.

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