July 21, 2021 5:25:22 am
In an attempt to counter the ruling Trinamool Congress on its Shahid Diwas (Martyrs’ Day) event, the BJP will stage a dharna in Delhi and Kolkata on Wednesday to pay homage to their workers killed in alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal.
The Martyrs’ Day rally on July 21 is the Trinamool’s flagship annual political event which draws massive numbers to the heart of the city for the keynote address by the party chief. The day is observed to commemorate the 13 West Bengal Youth Congress workers who were killed in police firing during a demonstration led by Mamata, then a firebrand Youth Congress leader, on July 21, 1993.
This July 21, however, the BJP is determined to steal the spotlight from the Trinamool by taking out protests against the alleged atrocities of the ruling party workers on their cadres and kin from the time the Assembly poll results were declared.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya claimed that 38 of its workers have been killed in the state since the Trinamool came to power for the third consecutive time on May 2.
“Tomorrow (July 21), the BJP will pay homage to our workers who were martyred in the post-poll violence in Bengal. Our state party president and MP Dilip Ghosh, along with his colleagues will stage a dharna, at Rajghat in Delhi. Our workers in Bengal will organise similar protests across the state. In Kolkata, our leaders will sit on a dharna at the party office in the Hastings area. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari will lead us at the sit-in,” Bhattacharya said.
He alleged that more than 20,000 BJP workers have been rendered homeless by Trinamool men in post poll violence.
“As many as 38 of our workers have been killed. More than 20,000 have been forced to flee their homes. False cases are being slapped against them. This is the situation in Bengal. We want to pay homage to our martyrs. We have picked July 21 for this as the people should know who the real martyrs are,” Bhattacharya said.
Saying West Bengal runs on “law of ruler” rather than the rule of law”, a committee of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) submitted a report before the Calcutta High Court, accusing the Mamata government of subjecting “thousands of its citizens… to murder, rape, displacement and intimidation, etc. in the last couple of months” following the Assembly poll results, and recommending deployment of central forces in the state.
In its final report, the panel further said that the “serious incidents” should be investigated by the CBI and tried outside the state, in fast-track courts. It also called for a court-monitored Special Investigation Team to follow up on the investigation.
Naming 123 political leaders among the accused and suspects, including an election agent of the chief minister and several Trinamool leaders, and labelling them “notorious criminals/goons”, the NHRC says very “few” arrests have been made “in contrast to the large-scale violence”.
The CM had come down heavily on the report, claiming that it reeked of political vendetta.
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