With the festive season over and Assembly Elections coming up early next year in West Bengal, both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congres (TMC) are keeping no stone unturned to strengthen their organisations.
As a result political violence is on the rise in the election-bound state. On Thursday, both sides have accused each other of killing their party workers. While the BJP claimed TMC murdered its cadre in Coochbehar, the ruling party has put up similar allegations against the central party in North 24 Parganas.
According to ABP Ananda, in Coochbehar’s Toofangang region a BJP worker was allegedly beaten to death by TMC-supported miscreants. To protest against the killing, the saffron party has called for a 12-hour strike there on Thursday.
However, the strike saw violent confrontations after a rally by TMC had come face to face with protesting BJP supporters. Sporadic reports of clashes and tyres burning have come from the region and it continues to be on the boil.
A huge batallion of police force has been deployed to keep peace and maintain law and order in Toofanganj.
Meanwhile, TMC has alleged that BJP stabbed one of its workers to death in Jagaddal in West Bengal’s North 24 Praganas district. Reportedly, the 22-year-old Akash Prasad was first stabbed and then killed with a bomb.
Even though the incident has not been followed by more violence, police has already fielded the Rapid Action Force (RAF) as a precautionary measure.
Denying the allegations hurled at them by the ruling party, heavyweight BJP leader and local MP, Arjun Singh, has claimed that Prasad was lynched to death by general public when he was caught stealing.
“I’ve heard that he (Akash) was a gang member under the local TMC convenor or leader who is known for his anti-social activities. This is unfortunate for locals in Bhatapara. It has been now proven that the active TMC workers are nothing but criminals,” the Bengali channel quoted Singh.
TMC leader Jyotipriya Mallik, on other hand, has accused Arjun Singh of playing an active part in the murder. The Minister for Food & Supplies” in the Government of West Bengal said that BJP had been plotting to kill Prasad for many days after failing to dent his dominance in the region.
Meanwhile, political violence throughout West Bengal ahead of the Assembly Elections next year has been a major concern.
Opposition parties like the BJP, CPIM and Congress have, time and again, blamed the TMC government for failing to maintain the law and order situation in the election-bound state.
It has also been revealed by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data that in terms of political violence and killings, West Bengal stands top among all the Indian states.