During the Bengal Panchayat elections on Monday, large-scale violence took place between activists of various parties. In this, 14 people, including the CPI (M), BJP and Congress – mainly activists of opposition parties lost their lives.
Many journalists have also been injured due to political violence. Not only this, Kamakhya Das of the Bengali media group Uttare Saradin and the 24-hour Pinki Sarkar were allegedly taken hostage by Trinamool workers. He was released several hours later.
Talking to 101 Reporters regarding the attack on journalists, Kamakhya Das said, “We were taking statements from activists of opposition parties, at the same time Trinamool workers attacked us. We were doing our work but we had to come to the hospital . I was taken to a room where I was constantly beaten until the police arrived. TMC people do not want us to show what is happening. ”
Mustak Murshid Ahmed of Uttarbanga Samvad in Birpara block of Alipurduar district was also injured. “There were more than 25 people inside the booth. We were forbidden to go in, so we were taking pictures of people standing to vote. While we were talking to BJP district president Laxmikant Rai, TMC goons at the same time Attacked us. They talked about fake voters in the entire block. They took away the keys and phones of my bike. I have filed an FIR, in which eight activists were named. That I could recognize. ”
Mayuk Thakur Chakraborty of Anand Bazar Patrika Group said that he had arrived with his team to cover the Bhangar elections. Here the farmers’ committees and Trinamool activist Arabul Islam had a direct fight among the “goodies”. When members of the committee came to vote, he was allegedly attacked by the people of Arabul. “Covering it, we also got injuries. We had to hide inside a booth. After about a quarter of an hour the police came and we were taken out from there,” Mayukh said. Kolkata TV’s Bhakti Dey was beaten up by TMC people in Gopalpur, North 24 Parganas.
CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty informed 101 Reporters that his comrades Debu and Usha Das were burnt alive in their house at 24 Parganas. “I am standing in front of Comrade Debu and Usha Das’s house. They have been killed. They were getting threats from Trinamool goons but they did not give up, today they were burnt alive.”
Both of them used to do small work to earn a living and their son is still a student of BA (third year). “Derek O’Brien and other TMC leaders are constantly lying and working to spoil the situation,” Chakraborty said.
Violence was the only subject of this panchayat election which will be remembered. According to rival parties, TMC workers had also resorted to assault and intimidation while filing nominees for candidates of other parties. According to the State Election Commission, 16,814 out of total 48,650 gram panchayat seats (34.6 per cent) and 3,059 out of 9,217 panchayat committees did not go to the polls. Worried over this situation, the Supreme Court had asked the State Election Commission on May 10 not to declare the candidates elected uncontested in these seats.
Election Commission is a puppet: Congress
An agitator associated with the Bhangar movement, who has been protesting for the power grid project since 2016 and fighting for land rights, said, “Shahid Manzoor Khan (who was killed in the Bhangar movement), brother Intajul was a candidate from North Ghazipur, He has been severely beaten and is hospitalized. Other members of the committee are also seriously injured and have been admitted to the hospital. ”
On 6 April, the police arrested Shankar Das, Vishwajit Hazra and Amitabh Bhattacharya of the Bhangar Eka Committee. Another activist Ratul Banerjee was arrested on April 8 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Due to continuous dispute with Trinamool workers, the farmers had to form a committee and decided to contest the free elections, but they were constantly under attack and all efforts were made to stop them from filing the form. This was the reason that the workers called him to Kolkata from where he filed the form.
Leader of the Opposition from the Congress, Abdul Mannan said that it is surprising that in 34 percent of the seats the candidates won unopposed. “The entire Zilla Parishad is under the control of the Trinamool. The Congress has been able to file papers from barely 40 per cent of the seats. This has never happened before in West Bengal – the local police is preventing people from filling the form and protecting the goons. Elections The Commission is a puppet. The Election Commission has said that they are satisfied with the election procedures. If they are not puppets, how are they satisfied? There is an atmosphere of utter chaos here. ”
“It is a deception in the name of democracy. The news of constant violence and oppression is disturbing. It is a fascist trend which is unfortunate. It does not happen in any part of the country,” said MLA Sujan Chakraborty.
BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya said that the ruling party does not believe in democratic processes. “Poor people are being beaten up. Scheduled castes, tribes, dalits’ houses are being set on fire in the villages. We hope that in the near future they will get organized and respond to state sponsored violence.”
Trinamool spokesperson and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. However, a written statement has come from the party that, sporadic incidents which the Trinamool does not support, people exercised their vote and the voting was done properly.
The Trinamool accused the BJP of voting by bringing fake voters from Assam, Bangladesh and Jharkhand so that disturbances could be committed in the border area during elections. Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee said, “Minor incidents have happened, no major incidents have happened. The administration is working with promptness in the violence affected areas. Voting took place in a peaceful manner. I strongly condemn the attack on journalists I do. ”
Although the local police could not be contacted, Police Director Surojit Kar Purkayastha reiterated the same in the press conference that sporadic incidents have happened. Apart from this, the election has been peaceful.