Sporadic violence was reported across Howrah district’s Bagnan area on Thursday during the BJP’s 12-hour strike called to protest against the murder of a man whom the party claimed to be its local worker.
Kinkar Majhi was shot last week, and succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday. The Opposition party has accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of orchestrating the attack.
Sources said on Thursday the police stopped various small rallies organised by BJP supporters at various places in Bagnan, while the Opposition party’s workers forcefully closed shops.
The police did not allow the BJP to organise a peace march scheduled to head to Majhi’s home. It led to a scuffle with the police, and the situation worsened when BJP MP and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) state chief Saumitra Khan joined the rally. BJP workers burnt tyres, raised slogans against the TMC, and surrounded the local police station.
A large battalion of the Rapid Action Force (RAF), and combat force were deployed to disperse the protesters. After Khan went into the station to talk to police officials, a large number of BJP supporters attempted to forcefully enter its premises, leading to another scuffle between the police and the Opposition party. The police later allowed Khan and others to visit Majhi’s house.
“All those who were detained in connection with the murder by police are BJP workers. I have asked the police to immediately release them. If the police does not accept our demand, we will call a strike in entire Howrah,” said Khan.
He added, “Our party worker was killed, we are not being allowed to organise a rally and police even beat them [party workers] up. TMC leaders organised a rally today itself, while our activists have been beaten up by police.”
Majhi was shot on October 24 while he was returning home after selling flowers in Howrah. His family has claimed that local TMC leaders were pressuring him to join the ruling party. The BJP worker was taken to Uluberia Hospital, and then to Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
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