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Forced to flee homes, attacked with crude bombs and harassed for voting BJP: Compilation of 20+ incidents that expose TMC’s politics of post-poll violence

While the Calcutta High Court's proactiveness in the matter is well appreciated, it must also take into account the complicity of the State machinery in the 'Khela' of post-poll violence.

The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) party in West Bengal unleashed its ‘Khela’ (game) of violence immediately after the conclusion of the last phase of Lok Sabha elections, which were held on 1st June this year.

TMC, led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has maintained its sordid record of weaponising political violence against rival political parties – a grim situation reminiscent of the 2021 Vidhan Sabha election and 2023 Panchayat election in the State.

Thousands of BJP workers have been forced to flee their homes, with many seeking refuge and temporary shelter in party offices. Harassment, assault and unspeakable atrocities against the Opposition continue unabated in West Bengal even after 3 weeks since the onset of violence.

Besides targeted attacks using deadly weapons and crude bombs, TMC goons and party leaders alike resorted to other forms of intimidation against people who dared to vote for the BJP in the State.

In the meantime, the BJP has formed a 4-member fact-finding committee to probe the extent of post-poll violence in West Bengal. The Calcutta High Court has also taken cognisance of the matter and has directed the Mamata Banjerjee-led-government to ensure the safe return of BJP workers to their homes.

As political violence continues to ravage the State, OpIndia takes a deep look at the timeline of attacks on political rivals by TMC goons.

Chronology of attacks by TMC against political rivals

On Friday (21st June), the wife of an Indian Secular Front (ISF) worker was assaulted by Trinamool Congress miscreants in Bhangar in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.

As per reports, the accused mercilessly thrashed the woman and cut her hair. After the victim fell unconscious, the TMC goons left her on the spot and fled the crime scene. She was later admitted to a local hospital.

A day earlier, the dead body of a BJP worker named Sanjay Beda was returned home in Debra village in Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal.

He was killed 4 days ago on 17th June this year amid the ongoing post-poll violence in the State. The deceased’s family members have demanded strict punishment for the accused.

On Wednesday (19th June), the official X (formerly Twitter) handle of ‘BJP West Bengal’ informed that a mob of 20-30 armed TMC goons murdered the father of a BJP worker named Shashanka Maity. The incident took place in Bhupatinagar in Purba Medinipur district.

Shashanka had reportedly been hiding since the election results were announced on 4th June 2024. According to ‘BJP West Bengal’, the accused ambushed his house and assaulted his mother, wife, and sister-in-law.

When his father Gourhari Maity intervened, the armed TMC goons attacked him brutally leading to his death. There have also been testimonies of victims who suffered sexual violence at the hands of the ruling TMC leaders.

For instance, on 17th June, BJP national spokesperson Amit Malviya shared a short video clip of a woman who broke down in tears while speaking about how a TMC leader in the Sitai Assembly constituency (Cooch Behar) raped her for working for the BJP.

“Mamata Banerjee has legitimised rape as a tool of political violence. Sheikh Shahjahan is not the only monster in TMC,” he said in his tweet.

On the same day, visuals surfaced on social media about a BJP worker injured at the hands of TMC miscreants in Udaynarayanpur in Howrah district of West Bengal.

The victim, identified as Anupam Santra, was admitted to Ulberia Hospital with serious injuries. The local BJP leadership met him at the hospital, following the incident.

On 17th June, Republic Bangla reported that an OBC BJP leader named Debnag Singh was beaten mercilessly in the Bidhannagar area of West Bengal.

The victim has accused TMC goons, identified as Laltu, Nofar and Keshtu Mondal, of attacking him for putting up posters of the BJP.

He was en route to his home from the school of his grandchildren when the attack took place. The video of the incident was caught on camera.

It had also come to light that miscreants associated with the ruling Trinamool Congress tried to destroy the livelihood of people who supported the BJP in Sandeshkhali village in North 24 Parganas district.

On 16th June, Republic Bangla reported that local TMC goons forcibly shut down the shops and e-rickshaws (Toto) belonging to BJP workers. Forced by circumstances, they filed a complaint with the police.

“You cannot drive your vehicles here. They told us,” recounted a BJP worker.

Amid the rampant post-poll violence in the State, a crude bomb was found outside the office of the BJP in Kolkata. West Bengal has been the hub for ‘crude bomb’ cottage industry for quite some time now.

On 16th June, TMC goons thrashed BJP workers and attacked their houses with bricks and crude bombs. They also vandalised bikes and other vehicles. The incident took place in Goaljan town in Murshidabad district of the State.

In the meantime, the residents of the Kulti neighbourhood in Asansol city had accused the ruling TMC government of cutting water supply in the area following the 2024 Lok Sabha election results.

According to locals, the government sent several water tankers to mitigate the water shortage in the area in the run-up to the crucial elections. They informed that the number of water tankers were reduced drastically after the election results.

At the same time, the availability of piped water in a day had declined from 30 minutes to a maximum of 15-20 minutes. Forced by circumstances, the residents of Kulti launched an agitation against the Mamata Banerjee-led-government to demand immediate redressal of water crisis.

The victims blocked the Asansol Barakar GT Road using fallen trees and set up barricades. They were joined by BJP MLA (Pachim Bardhaman) Ajay Kumar Poddar.

While speaking about the matter, he remarked, “Water is life. People in the area are not getting water…As a result, people are forced to hit the streets. This protest is not being carried out on the behest of any political party. Earlier four water tanks used to come daily. Now, it has been reduced to one.”

Coincidentally, West Bengal Minister Udayan Guha announced on 14th June that areas which did not vote substantially for the TMC would not receive money for development work.

He later tweaked his statement to assert that people who voted for the TMC would get preferential treatment over those who voted for the rival BJP.

“Let the people in the city first have the realisation that you need to give something to get something in return,” Udayan Guha cautioned BJP voters.

On 14th June, a BJP worker informed that he was abducted by Trinamool Congress members to their party office and beaten black and blue. The incident took place in Durgapur.

The victim had campaigned for former party MP and State President, Dilip Ghosh, in the run-up to the elections. He had refused to join the TMC, which reportedly irked the local party leadership. Following the assault by TMC members, the BJP worker filed a complaint with the local police.

On 9th June, ETV Bangla reported that a Congress worker named Akmal Sheikh was killed by TMC goons in Gopalpur village in Malda district. He was abducted by the accused, taken to a mango orchard and thrashed brutally.

The victim sustained grave injuries during the attack. He was later admitted to the district hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

While speaking about the matter, Malda MP Isha Khan Choudhury remarked, “We have received information that miscreants of the ruling party, led by their regional president, have committed this crime. I demand the immediate arrest of the culprits.”

On 8th June, The Indian Express reported that BJP workers had been forced to flee their villages and homes to escape violence orchestrated by the ruling TMC government.

A BJP worker named Prasanta Haldar informed, “Election season mane amader ghor chharar season (election season for us means the season of leaving home).” He had sent his wife and children to a relative’s house. In the meantime, he has sought refuge along with 50 others at the BJP office in Baruipur.

Another party worker named Mamoni Das informed The Indian Express that TMC goons forced her out of her home in Matherdighi village in South 24 Parganas. Mamoni, who serves as the VP of the BJP Baruipur, informed that 50 TMC goons gheraoed her house on the day of Lok Sabha election result (4th June).

Similarly, TMC goons harassed another BJP worker named Bikas Roy and took away his e-rickshaw. They also ambushed his residence and issued threats. The plight of BJP workers in Kolkata was no different. About 100 of them were housed in a building near BJP’s West Bengal headquarters.

A 31-year-old Shanu Pramanik told The Indian Express, “After results were out on June 4, our houses were ransacked by TMC goons. I ran away before they could barge in. We then hid at our relative’s place, and at around 3 am today, we left and reached here at 1 pm.”

Another BJP worker named Bishnu Dhali was quick to flee his home and avoid being attacked by TMC goons. “But they severely beat up my aunt. They also ransacked our house, he added.

BJP workers stage protest in Medinipur, image via ETV Bharat

Hooligans associated with the ruling Trinamool Congress attacked the house of a BJP leader named Shubojit Roy in Medinipur with crude bombs, following a victory rally on 7th June this year. He filed a police complaint but no action was taken against the accused.

Dismayed by the situation, he protested against the attack and set up a road blockade. Soon after, the police arrested him along with a female party worker.

Subhojit Roy had informed that his aged mother was at the house when TMC hooligans targeted the building with crude bombs.

Police officer Varunkumar Bagh attacked in Goaghat

Besides political rivals, the TMC goons also did not spare the law enforcement authorities. A police officer, identified as Varunkumar Bagh, was attacked with bricks when he tried to stop TMC’s onslaught against BJP workers in Goaghat in the Hoogly district of West Bengal.

Reportedly, TMC hooligans assaulted BJP workers for not removing their party flag from the area post elections. When the central foces and the local police went to pacify the situation, the accused attacked them as well. A police car was also vandalised by TMC goons.

Besides Varunkumar Bagh, 5 BJP workers were also injured in the targeted attack.

On 7th June, an X (formerly Twitter) user ‘Subham’ informed that the people of a housing society in Kolkata were being punished by the TMC government for voting in favour of the BJP.

The user stated that garbage was being dumped outside ‘Sunrise Heights’ in the Beleghata neighbourhood of Central Kolkata as 543 residents of the housing complex voted against TMC.

Soon after, the State General Secretary of Trinamool Congress, Nilanjan Das, confirmed the development on X (formerly Twitter).He dubbed the action of dumping garbage outside the housing society as a ‘non-violent means of revenge.’

The BJP has slammed the TMC for his outrageous actions. Following outrage on social media, Nilanjan Das deleted his controversial tweet.

Aftermath of post-poll violence in Barasat

On 5th June, the BJP office and houses of several party workers were vandalised in Barasat in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. The accused TMC goons were armed with guns and iron rods.

On learning about the matter, the police and the central armed forces reached the crime spot. After they left, the goons returned to further ransack the area.

Around the same time, the houses of BJP workers were targeted with crude bombs in Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district. A BJP agent’s house was also vandalised in Narendrapur in South 24 Parganas district.

A video of a Hindu woman dating back to 3rd June, narrating the atrocities committed by TMC goons on BJP workers, recently went viral on social media.

She was heard saying in Bengali, “My husband was a polling agent of the BJP. They had also filed a case (fabricated) against my husband.”

“He has been missing since yesterday. The men in the village are not at their homes. They have been hunted down by TMC goons and beaten mercilessly,” she further added.

“Those who had to bear this will be crippled for life. The men were brutally thrashed and stomped on the ground,” the woman pointed out.

She emphasised, “Please ensure that our message reaches Mamata Banerjee – Give us poison (bish) so that we can die peacefully. Else abduct all of us. We do not want to live anymore,”

“We have infants at our house. There is no food at our house. We cannot go to the market and put rice in the mouths of our children,” the woman continued.

“What is the purpose of our existence? It is better that we die,” she said while crying inconsolably. The whereabouts of the woman’s husband, who happened to be the polling agent of the BJP, remains unknown.

On 2nd June, a BJP worker was killed in the Nadia district as a result of post-poll violence.

Conclusion

There seems to be no end in sight to the orgy of violence, harassment and intimidatory tactics unleashed by the goons associated with the ruling Mamata-led-TMC government.

The law apparatus in the State has failed to safeguard lives and prevent the displacement of thousands of people for fear of political violence.

While the Calcutta High Court’s proactiveness in the matter is well appreciated, it must also take into account the complicity of the State machinery in the Khela of post-poll violence.

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Duttahttps://dibakardutta.in/
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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