West Bengal post-poll violence leaves dozen dead; Centre seeks report
The Centre on Monday sought a report from the West Bengal government regarding the "post-election violence targeting Opposition political workers in the state." Since the Assembly election results were announced on Sunday, around a dozen people have reportedly been killed, including supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), its rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Indian Secular Front (ISF). Here's all that happened.
First incidences reported hours after poll results
After the elections declared a resounding victory for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's TMC, the BJP alleged that one of its party offices in the Hooghly district was set on fire. The party also said that "TMC goons" vandalized several of its offices, including one in the Nandigram constituency where BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari defeated Banerjee. TMC supporters also reportedly pelted stones at Adhikari's vehicle.
Despicable attempt to create atmosphere of violence: Adhikari
Despicable attempt to create an atmosphere of vengeance and violence in West Bengal!— Suvendu Adhikari • শুভেন্দু অধিকারী (@SuvenduWB) May 2, 2021
This evening in Haldia goons from the @AITCofficial targeted my car and attempted to attack my vehicle.
If public representatives face such attacks, imagine the fate plight of the Common Man! https://t.co/vxfyFFEY6C
Bengal BJP says houses ransacked; administration didn't help
State BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that 4,000 houses of BJP workers were ransacked and 100 shops were looted. State BJP President Dilip Ghosh said neither the state police nor the administration came to their help. Videos of arson with broken furniture and bamboo piles, and roof tiles burning amid frantic cries were widely shared by the party on social media.
Mother of booth president killed, alleges BJP
The BJP claimed that the mother of a booth president was killed during an attack by TMC workers at Jagaddal in North 24 Parganas and another person was killed at Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas. Three persons were killed, one from the BJP and two from the TMC, in East Burdwan's Nabagram. The TMC said its supporters were killed for chanting "Jai Bangla."
Bengal Governor summons DGP to take prompt action
Following the violence, Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar summoned the state's Director-General of Police (DGP) to initiate an investigation into the matter. "Perturbed and worried at several reports of violence, arson, and killings from various parts of state. Party offices, houses & shops being attacked. Situation alarming. Prompt action called for @HomeBengal @WBPolice @CPKolkata Have conferred @MamataOfficial for urgent action," Dhankhar tweeted.
Bengal Governor meets police to restore law and order
DGP @WBPolice and Commissioner @CPKolkata summoned by me in the wake of continually rising post poll incidents of arson, looting and violence as also killings in the State were indicated of alarming scenario.— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) May 3, 2021
Called upon them to take all steps to restore law and order. pic.twitter.com/BcblaimLeO
BJP announces nationwide dharna on May 5
Meanwhile, the BJP has announced a nationwide dharna on May 5—the same day that Banerjee is expected to take oath again as CM. BJP President JP Nadda is expected to visit the state on May 4-5 to review the situation. BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta has asked for security forces to be deployed in the Birbhum district over "marauding crowds and molestation of women."
Banerjee calls for peace; accuses BJP of 'spreading lies'
Blaming the BJP for the violence, Banerjee appealed for peace and warned supporters against falling prey to provocation. She accused the BJP of "spreading lies using old pictures of riots that did not take place in Bengal," according to a report by The Indian Express. "But even then, I will urge everybody to maintain peace and not to resort to violence," she said.
TMC leader blames violence on 'intra-party fights'
Further, TMC MP Derek O'Brien said in a tweet, "BJP IT cell could have given trolls some time off after results. All cases on SM (social media) are BJP intra-party fights. Three+ factions in Bengal. They hate each other."