BJP protests Bengal violence, seeks CBI probe in Bhatpara deaths



Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the alleged police firing that left two dead and several injured at Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district, the BJP on Friday held a rally in the city protesting against the rampant violence across West Bengal.

The saffron party also staged a protest demonstration in front of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate, demanding the arrest of culprits involved in the violent incident at Bhatpara.

Two persons were killed and several people injured after a fresh flare-up of violence at Bhatpara erupted on Thursday while the police had to open fire, prompting the administration to impose prohibitory orders in the affected areas.

The BJP's protest rally in the eastern metropolis was, however, stopped by the police at Central Avenue, though they planned to march from party's state headquarters to Esplanade.

"People are threatened by the police and goons backed by Trinamool Congress. Many BJP workers were slapped with false cases. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is acting as a dictator in order to reclaim political ground in the state. She is against peace, though we keep on urging the same in the state," party's state General Secretary Raju Banerjee said.

BJP leaders alleged violence had been widespread across districts and were planned by state's ruling Trinamool to frighten the common people. 

"Despite imposition of Section 144 in Bhatpara and adjoining area, criminals from Kamarhati created violence in the area and hurled bombs. Section 144 has been imposed for local people but not for criminals.

"We would salute Police Commissioner if he arrests the criminals. Otherwise, we will continue movement against him if he fails to arrest them," party MP Arjun Singh told reporters after submitting a deputation to Barrackpore Police Commissioner Manoj Kumar Verma. 

He also alleged that the one of the deceased was shot in the head by the police "from point-blank range" on Thursday while several persons received bullet injuries.

BJP's national Secretary Rahul Sinha said the party seeks a CBI inquiry into the incident to bring out the truth as local people said that two civilians were killed due to police firing. 

"Trinamool Congress is claiming they are not involved in the incident. The locals claimed it was the police which opened fire and killed innocent civilians. A CBI inquiry is needed to bring out the truth," he said.

About allegation whether outsiders led by the BJP had incited the violence, Sinha said it was a "baseless" allegation and a CBI inquiry can expose the reality.

Singh's son and Bhatpara MLA Pawan Singh claimed a section of people "do not want peace to be restored in the area as they have not yet accepted their defeat in the Barrackpore Lok Sabha polls and Assembly by-polls in Bhatpara".

"Many anti-socials, who were behind bars, have been granted bails now, which is a matter of concern," he alleged.

A central BJP delegation is likely to visit Bhatpara on Saturday and they would submit a report about the incident to party President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the party sources said.

The violence erupted on a day the new Bhatpara police station was scheduled to be inaugurated by the DGP. But such was the ferocity of the clash that he returned midway and rushed to the state Secretariat, Nabanna where the government called an urgent meeting to tackle the violence.

Accusing the BJP of spreading violence in the area, state Minister and Trinamool leader Bratya Basu said "the saffron party wants to establish a fact that they would create unrest in the areas where the MP, MLA and Municipality Chairman would be from the BJP".

"They want to turn all the places like Bhatpara," he said.

Incidentally, Bhatpara falls under Barrackpore Lok Sabha Constituency which was won by the BJP and the party also wrested the Bhatpara Assembly from state's ruling Trinamool in a recent by-polls. Party's MP Arjun Singh was also Chairman of the Bhatpara Municipality. IANS