Bengal violence: Clashes broke out between Bharatiya Janata Party workers and police personnel in West Bengal on Wednesday when the former took out a rally against the Mamata Banerjee government to protest post-poll violence in the state. The BJP workers including state president Dilip Ghosh were marching towards the Police headquarters in Lalbazar from the Wellington area of Kolkata when police started firing tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse them.
Bengal BJP in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya and senior party leader Mukul Roy were also present in the march. The police action came when the saffron party workers jostled to reach the Bowbazar crossing. In response, the BJP workers shouted slogans and hurled bottles at the police personnel. Kolkata police also resorted to baton charge at the BJP workers on Bepin Behari Ganguly Street.
The BJP was protesting against the killings of its party workers in the last two days. It claimed that at least three party workers were killed in the last 24 hours in incidents of post-poll violence. The police confirmed that the two people were killed when bombs were hurled at them and another person died after being allegedly beaten up by unidentified miscreants in Purba Burdwan. Both incidents took place on Monday night.
The BJP and TMC have been blaming each other for the killings. However, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday claimed that 10 people have been killed following the Lok Sabha elections and eight of them belonged to the TMC. But BJP leader Mukul Roy blamed TMC chief Mamata for the clashes that claimed three lives. He also demanded a probe into the violence by anti-terror probe agency NIA.
The BJP decided to hold a rally to protest against the post-poll violence in the state. The poll violence had begun well before the election but it was expected that it may come down after the elections are over. But the BJP leaders claim that Mamata Banerjee is upset over the gains it made at the cost of the TMC and this explains why she has unleashed the TMC cadre on its workers.
The BJP won 18 out of 42 seats with over 40 per cent vote share in Bengal. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won only two seats with a vote share of around 17 per cent.