Petrol bombs were hurled and houses set on fire during a clash allegedly between BJP supporters and Trinamool Congress workers in Tehatta Kataberiya area of Uluberia on Monday. Howrah Police on Tuesday arrested four persons in this connection. Tensions continued to run high in Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency, which is going to bypoll on January 29, even 24 hours after the violence.
Sources said the trouble began when BJP supporters passing by a local Trinamool office allegedly made disparaging comments and defaced a poster of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, leading to a clash between the two groups.
Both sides hurled bricks and petrol bombs, and set houses on fire, police sources said. “BJP workers defaced a poster of the chief minister and abused our workers. It was a pre-planned attack,” said a local TMC leader. The BJP, on the other hand, blamed the Trinamool Congress for the violence, saying, “TMC is unable to digest the growing strength of BJP, and has been in attack mode wherever they find BJP workers.”
BJP leader Mukul Roy had on Monday taken out a rally from Uluberia South Assembly to East Assembly segment. “Voice of the opposition is being suppressed. I will take up the matter with the Election Commission. The violence triggered in the area is proof that to conduct a peaceful and fair bypoll, central forces are needed,” he had said.
Police sources said two of the four persons arrested on Tuesday are affiliated with the BJP, while the other two are connected to the Trinamool Congress. Officials are conducting more raids to trace out some others involved in the violence, they added.
As per sources, Uluberia is likely to see more such violence before the January 29 bypoll, as BJP and Trinamool Congress both are focusing on the seat. Central BJP leaders are expected to campaign in the constituency, in addition to state leaders such as Mukul Roy and Dilip Ghosh, sources said.