West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh has asked Governor K N Tripathi to put the state under President’s Rule following a spate of attacks on BJP offices and workers allegedly by men linked to the Trinamool Congress.
Ghosh said a party delegation met the Governor and demanded his intervention. In its representation to the Governor, the state BJP said: “…with the authority vested in you vide Article 356 (1A) to review the situation where the state government is unable to enforce or to carry out their responsibility in accordance with provisions of the Constitution. Hence, we request your immediate and determined intervention in this matter.”
The delegation told the Governor that “there has been arson and attacks carried out by the ruling party goons in different parts of West Bengal with BJP as the main target”, adding that “there has been a breakdown of the law and order situation in the state, especially in view of the hooliganism and violent acts of TMC goons”.
BJP’s letter also alleged that TMC Minister for Health Shashi Panja and TMC councillor Shantanu Sen were present at the BJP headquarters during the attack allegedly by TMC men.
The attacks aimed at the BJP began Tuesday with the arrest of TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay by the CBI. On Wednesday, they spread across the state. In Dum Dum in Kolkata, three BJP offices were set on fire. In Digha, shops owned by BJP workers and sympathisers were torched.
While BJP hoardings were pulled down and burnt in Rajabajar area, a BJP office in Durgapur was ransacked. Also, BJP MP Babul Supriyo’s home, where his parents live, was gheraoed by TMC workers raising slogans.
State BJP vice-president Krishna Bhattacharya was attacked and her house vandalised in Hooghly’s Uttarpara. Bhattacharya has now been admitted to the ICU at Kamala hospital in Konnagar where she is under observation.
Her brother, Amaresh Bhattacharya, who lives in the same house, said that TMC’s “bike vahini” came to their home within 15 minutes of Krishna Bhattacharya’s return from a party meeting.
“There were some 20 of them. I had just returned from work… My daughter-in-law was also at home. These men just entered our house and held my sister at gunpoint, while they beat her mercilessly and tore her clothes… Before they left, they lobbed a crude bomb into the house,’’ he said, adding that police only arrived at the scene 45 minutes after the incident.
On Tuesday, TMC workers had gheraoed BJP headquarters on Central Avenue in Kolkata at 5 pm. Senior BJP leaders like Rahul Sinha and Locket Chatterjee, who were present at the time of the attack, were stuck inside for hours.
BJP leader and former youth wing president Amitava Ray said: “Suddenly we were surrounded by the TMC mob which started pelting stones and manhandling the workers. I myself sustained injuries and was hit on the head with bricks… Police were present but they just stood there doing nothing… they told us if they do anything to help us then their families would be attacked by TMC goons.” Ray is now under observation at a hospital. He said TMC workers also lobbed plastic bottles filled with petrol inside the BJP office.
Kolkata Police, meanwhile, has registered a case against unknown persons in connection with Tuesday’s violence. On Tuesday night, Sudip Bandyopadhyay’s wife, Nayana, filed an FIR against the CBI over his arrest alleging that the agency had not informed any family member of where her husband would be taken.