District secretary of Bhartiya Janta Party in East Midnapore district in West Bengal was shot at Khejuri on Sunday afternoon. As per reports, the incident took place after a clash erupted between BJP workers and supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress. Pabitra Das, district secretary of BJP, had a narrow escape as the bullet hit his left hand, said police. Other than Das, several BJP workers, including women, were injured in the clash.
During the preliminary investigation, the local police found out that the incident took place when Pabitra Das, along with Bhartiya Janta Party supporters, started protesting against a decision made by the local Trinamool dominant panchayat. It was decided that the trees uprooted in cyclone Amphan will be sold off without floating any tenders. The police officer investigating the case said, “When the BJP activists were staging a demonstration and the supporters of Trinamool Congress assembled there. Shortly, a clash between the two groups broke out.”
During the clash, Das fell on the road and other BJP supporters rushed to help him. They noticed blood oozing out of his wound. He was taken to the local hospital. Many houses were ransacked at Khejuri during the cyclone.
BJP’s Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh said, “Das is a very active worker of our party. He protested against the illegal act of local panchayat members. The police stood as mute spectators when the supporters of the ruling party unleashed the attack.” He alleged that the supporters of the Trinamool Congress attacked Das and other BJP supporters while the police were present on the scene.
BJP members also alleged that TMC goons not only fired on them, but also lobbed bombs. They alleged that local TMC MLA Ranjit Mandal was present at the spot. Mandal has denied that he was present there. He also denied any link of TMC workers with the incident.
Sisir Adhikary, Trinamool MP in Contai, East Midnapore said that none of the Trinamool supporters were there at the time of the incident.
After the incident, BJP workers blocked the 116B Digha Nandakumar national highway for several hours in protest, which cause a traffic jam in the area.
Attacks on BJP party workers in West Bengal
BJP workers have been attacked and killed on several occasions in West Bengal. In June, BJP leader Sabyasachi Dutta was hackled during a clash between BJP and TMC supporters. BJP woman panchayat candidate and her husband brutally killed in April. Seven houses of Bhartiya Janta Party supporters set on fire in which 20 activists were injured and pregnant wife of a BJP worker suffered miscarriage after being kicked and assaulted allegedly by TMC goons. Two Bhartiya Janta Party offices set on fire in a span of 5 days in January.