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Refugees in their own country: Victims of Bengal post-poll violence narrate their stories from Assam camps

"They wanted to kill us because we supported BJP in the elections", victims of TMC's post-poll violence in Bengal narrate their experience from Assam camps

Political violence that was unleashed by TMC goons after the declaration of results to the West Bengal Assembly elections forced many BJP karyakartas and supporters to flee the state and take shelter in the neighbouring state of Assam. We reported how TMC thugs looted and vandalised houses of BJP workers, forcing them to leave the state.

While several were rendered homeless following the post-poll violence in Bengal, a 40-year-old refugee lodged at a refugee shelter in Assam’s Dhubri district, has narrated his harrowing experience and the bitter price he had to pay for voting for BJP in the recently concluded WB Assembly polls in a News 18 report.

Meghu Das, who originally hails from Jhaukuti village under Tufanganj constituency in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district recalled how TMC cadres tried to kill him since he chose to vote for BJP in the recently concluded Assembly elelctions.

The report by News 18 quoted terror-stricken Das as saying: “On Tuesday morning, some people came searching for me. They tried to kill me, saying I voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and hence it’s time for revenge. It’s an ‘eye for an eye’ for them. I somehow managed to save myself and cross over to Assam. At present, I am along with 250 people like me at a clubhouse at Rangpagli village of Dhubri. I am really scared and I don’t know where and how I will perform the death rituals of my mother.”

Das’ mother had recently passed away due to Covid.

Das was, however, not the only one who was allegedly targetted by the TMC workers. Another occupant of the refugee shelter, who wished to remain anonymous recollected how he too came under attack by TMC goons who unleashed carnage in West Bengal, following the Assembly poll results.

BJP booth president was attacked by TMC mob

According to the News 18 report, the BJP supporter who also fled Bengal fearing for his life, lamented: “I went to the market yesterday morning where two of us were at a nearby tea stall. The Trinamool procession which came from the opposite side started pelting us with stones all of a sudden. I am the booth president of my area, and they shouted ‘he is the booth president, catch him’. Sensing the gravity of the situation, I started running. There were around 50 people after me. I jumped into the nearby river and crossed over to Assam. I am relieved now. Had I been caught yesterday, I would have been in the hospital now. In the mob, most of the people were Muslims, except a few Hindus.”

“My crime is that I supported the BJP. They attacked us, looted our property, cattle and mistreated our women. Our own known people. We are fortunate that we saved ourselves,” rued another among the crowd at the refugee shelter in Golakganj, Dhubri district.

Himanta Biswa Sarma highlights the plight of the refugees

While these are accounts of only a handful who were forced to flee Bengal, BJP leader and Cabinet Minister in the Assam government, Himanta Biswa Sarma took to Twitter on May 5 to share pictures of more such people who were forced to leave the state following purported post-poll violence and come to Assam. In a thread of Tweets, Sarma highlighted the plight of the refugees.

“BURNING BENGAL – THREAD As if to reassert might of an abhorring demonocracy led by @MamataOfficial, persecution of innocent by @AITCofficial continue. 21 people including an injured Dhiren Saha (45), facing threats of lives, arrived in Srirampur from Cooch Behar around 5 pm,” Sarma said in a tweet.

Himanta Biswa Sarma confirmed that hundreds of people from Bengal, along with their family members have fled and reached Assam where they are being put up in shelters by state government.

In fact, on the same day, Nandigram MLA and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari had also asserted that over a lakh people have already fled Bengal since the post-poll violence erupted in West Bengal from May 2, 2021.

Bengal post-poll violence

Soon after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) was found surpassing the BJP during the vote counting for the Vidhan Sabha elections, the goons of the ruling dispensation unleashed violence against their political opponents. Multiple videos have also come forward that shows that a spate of looting, arson, and violence has erupted in the state.

Centre forms four-member fact-finding team to probe post-election violence in West Bengal

Yesterday, MHA constituted a four-member fact-finding central team to assess the ground situation in the state and submit its report on post-poll violence in the next 48-72 hours to the Union Home Ministry. The step was taken after repeated reminders to the Mamata Banerjee government to submit a detailed report on the post-poll violence, went unheard.

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