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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Centre writes to Bengal govt again, asks why report on post-poll violence not submitted yet

MHA sources said the letter has been sent to West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay reminding him of the May 3 letter by the MHA in which he had been asked to take immediate measures to check post-poll violence in the state.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 5, 2021 9:46:25 pm
West Bengal pollsTMC activists celebrate winning trend in the West Bengal state assembly elections, in Kolkata, Sunday, May 2, 2021. There have been reports of widespread violence in the state with both the BJP and TMC accusing each other of attacking its cadre. (Photo: PTI)

In the wake of alleged incidents of violence in West Bengal following poll results, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to the state government, accusing it of not taking steps to stem the violence and asked why a report sought by it has not been submitted yet.

MHA sources said the letter has been sent to West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay reminding him of the May 3 letter by the MHA in which he had been asked to take immediate measures to check post-poll violence in the state. The letter had also asked for a detailed report on the situation.

“So far the report has not been received. According to media reports, violence continues. This means effective measures have not been taken so far,” an MHA official said quoting from the letter.

He added that the West Bengal government has been asked to take all measures necessary to stop the violence. “The letter has also said that if the situation report is not received at once, it will be viewed seriously,” the official said.

Following Mamata Banerjee-led TMC’s thumping victory in the Assembly polls on Sunday, there have been reports of widespread violence in the state with many BJP offices and workers being allegedly targeted by TMC workers. There have also been reports of TMC leaders being targeted by the BJP. More than 14 deaths have been reported in the alleged incidents till date.

Mamata on Tuesday held an emergency meeting with top state officials seeking an immediate end to the post-poll violence.

The Centre has mounted pressure on the TMC government over the incidents, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling up Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the Union Home Ministry seeking a report from its state counterpart. BJP president J P Nadda arrived in West Bengal on Tuesday and met families of some of the victims.

On Tuesday, a black plastic sheet placed by the Kolkata Police covered a makeshift BJP office at the end of a lane in Sitaltala, Narkeldanda, near which party worker Abhijit Sarkar, 35, was beaten to death, hours after the TMC soared ahead of the BJP in the May 2 counting. Abhijit’s mother Madhabi, 62, and brother Biswajit, 40, were also beaten up, while their house was ransacked, by unidentified men. The family said police were present but didn’t stop the men.

Another BJP worker, Haran Adhikari, 42, was killed in Pratapnagar village in Sonarpur Dakshin, South 24 Parganas. Adhikari’s family members said around 8 pm on Sunday, a group of miscreants barged into their house, dragged him out and thrashed him to death.

According to the police report, one TMC supporter, Srinibas Ghosh, 54, was killed in Agardanga panchayat of Ketugram by alleged BJP supporters when going to the market.

Two TMC men, Saju Sheikh and Bibhash Pal, were reported killed in Jamalpur on Monday in clashes with the BJP. The fourth TMC leader reported killed was Ganesh Malik, 60, of Samsabad village in Raina. His family claimed he was hit when trying to stop a clash between TMC and BJP supporters.

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