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After police barred funeral procession of party workers killed in political clashes, BJP observes ‘black day’ in West Bengal

This decision came in the aftermath of the face-off which ensued between the BJP and West Bengal Police in North 24 Parganas district over the weekend

Amidst the continued political unrest in West Bengal, BJP has decided to observe a ‘black day’ across the state on Monday. The party has also called a 12-hour general strike in the Basirhat sub-division on Monday and a ‘condemnation march’ to the Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar on June 12.

This decision came in the aftermath of the face-off which ensued between the BJP and West Bengal Police in North 24 Parganas district over the weekend.

The BJP workers were reportedly prevented by the police from holding the funeral of its workers, killed in political clashes on Saturday, on a highway near Kolkata.

Saturday evening, clashes had erupted between the BJP and TMC in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali area in North 24 Parganas district, over the removal of party flags, which left workers of both parties killed and several others injured.

According to sources in the BJP, a total of five party workers have been killed in the clashes and several others are seriously injured.

Tension prevailed on Sunday in strife-affected Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas, with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool Congress accusing each other of orchestrating Saturday’s violence.

A BJP delegation visiting the area decided to take bodies of the two party workers to Kolkata for last rites. But the convoy was stopped thrice by police, claiming it may cause law and order issues in the state capital.

Reacting strongly to the autocracy in Mamata’s regime, BJP’ national secretary Rahul Sinha said, the family members of the deceased have decided to perform last rites in Kolkata. How can the police stop them? It is their duty to stop murderers and criminals and not the dead,” lambasted Sinha furthering, “I told them there will be no rallies in Kolkata. They (bodies) will just be kept at the BJP headquarters to let people pay their last respects. Still, police are stopping us.”

Later, Sinha took to Twitter to express his concern over democracy being strangulated in the state.

Reacting to the faceoff between BJP workers and security forces in Bengal, party general secretary Rahul Sinha also said, “I have spoken to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, who has assured me that he will speak to senior officials. Police couldn’t prevent the murders and are now stopping us from cremating the bodies.” He also said that they were ready to proceed to the party office even in a police cordon. “We are also ready to proceed further under police cordon. What kind of rule is this? Democracy is being strangulated in this state,” said Rahul Sinha.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Locket Chatterjee accused the police personnel of working for the Trinamool Congress. “This is unethical. Police cannot stop us legally. If needed we will carry the bodies to Kolkata on our shoulders,” she said.

Moreover, taking note of the unfaltering political violence in Bengal, the Ministry of Home Affairs has sent an advisory to the West Bengal government and asked the Mamata Banerjee-led government to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquillity.

“The unabated violence over the past weeks appears to be a failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of the state to maintain the rule of law and inspire confidence among people,” the advisory said.

However, the TMC reacted strongly to the advisory saying it is nothing but a “political conspiracy”.

“The so-called advisory from MHA to the West Bengal government on the law enforcement machinery in the state is nothing but a political conspiracy. We will respond appropriately,” TMC MP Derek O’Brien said.

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