Bhatpara: A BJP delegation, led by former Union minister and Bardhaman-Durgapur MP SS Ahluwalia, visited the trouble-torn Bhatpara area in West Bengal on Saturday and alleged that it was due to police firing that two persons lost their lives during clashes earlier in the week.
SS Ahluwalia was accompanied by newly-elected MPs and former police officers Satyapal Singh and BD Ram. Leaders of the state also accompanied them.
“We spoke to the family members and locals. We got portions of spent self loading rifle (SLR) bullets used by the police on Thursday to shoot the BJP workers,” SS Alhuwalia said.
Two people were killed and 11 others injured in the town in North 24 Parganas district on Thursday after clashes broke out between two groups believed to be affiliated to the Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“The police is saying they fired in the air. If they had done that, how can it hit humans?” he asked. “We will submit our detailed report to party president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He is concerned with the ongoing violence in the area,” SS Alhuwalia said.
The police and the ruling Trinamool Congress called the observation baseless. Fresh violence erupted during the BJP delegation visit. Bombs were hurled at the police while the personnel resorted to lathicharge the crowd, even as the BJP leaders rallied through the streets of Bhatpara with scores of supporters following them and raising slogans against Bengal Police and chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
In videos shared by ANI, police personnel could be seen using batons to remove protesters throwing stones on the streets during the BJP procession. Heavy presence of police and security personnel were seen on the streets of Bhatpara.
Meanwhile, a group of BJP supporters raised slogans of “Mamata Banerjee haye haye” and “Bengal Police haye haye”.
TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said the BJP delegation’s visit was aimed at increasing tension in the area.
“What is the purpose of their visit? SS Alhuwalia asked. “Section 144 has been in force in the area, but the BJP is visiting there. The police should have taken action against them for violating Section 144.”
A senior officer said the BJP leadership had taken prior permission for the visit. Earlier in the day, a joint delegation of the CPI(M) and the Congress, led by leader of Opposition in assembly Abdul Mannan, visited the troubled areas of Baruipara, Jagaddal and Bhatpara. They demanded CBI inquiry into the killing of two persons.
The BJP leadership had also demanded a CBI probe into the incident. It observed a statewide protest and demonstration against the killings on Friday.
A TMC citadel for long, Bhatpara has been witnessing frequent post-poll violence between the rival parties. The fight has intensified ever since Arjun Singh crossed over from the TMC to the BJP and won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, under which Bhatpara falls.
In the by-election to the Bhatpara assembly seat that were held along with the Lok Sabha elections, Arjun Singh’s son, Pawan Singh, defeated TMC candidate and former state minister Madan Mitra.