TMC Worker Injured in Clash with BJP in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali

Violent clashes erupted between TMC and BJP workers in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali, leaving one TMC worker injured, a day before elections. The incident sparked allegations of atrocities against women and counter-accusations of forgery and intimidation.

Trim Correspondents
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TMC Worker Injured in Clash with BJP in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali

TMC Worker Injured in Clash with BJP in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali

A violent clash erupted between workers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal, on May 12, 2024, just a day before elections in the state. The incident left a TMC worker injured after alleged thrashing by BJP women workers, including Lok Sabha candidate Rekha Patra.

Why this matters: The escalating tensions between the TMC and BJP in West Bengal ahead of the elections have significant implications for the state's political landscape and the outcome of the polls. The incident also highlights the need for ensuring the safety and security of political workers, particularly women, during election campaigns.

According to a video shared by ANI, workers from both parties were seen fighting each other, with one man's shirt torn. The clash allegedly started when TMC workers went to the residence of the daughter of 'Andolankaari maa', Sagori Das, and picked her up, threatening her. They then attacked the residence of three BJP members in Jeliakhali.

Rekha Patra, BJP Lok Sabha Candidate from Basirhat, claimed that TMC workers, led by Dilip Malik, abused and beat women in the area, prompting BJP workers to retaliate. Patra stated, "Dilip Malik came here with his team and then abused all the women here and beat them so we retaliated and hit them back. In this regard, they (TMC) have registered a complaint in the name of Dr Archana Majumdar and in my name (Rekha Patra)."

The TMC has written to the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking criminal proceedings against National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma and some BJP members for alleged atrocities on women in the Sandeshkhali area. The complaint accuses Sharma and BJP members, including Piyali Das, of "commission of serious offences of forgery, cheating, fraud, intimidation and criminal conspiracy on innocent women of Sandeshkhali".

The complaint alleges that Rekha Sharma and Piyali Das coerced a woman from Sandeshkhali into signing a blank paper, which was later used to file a false rape complaint without her consent. The woman claimed that she was subjected to intimidation and threats from local BJP members when she tried to withdraw the complaint.

The Sandeshkhali area has been on the boil since February, with protests over allegations of sexual abuse and land grab against now-arrested TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters. Multiple purported videos of Sandeshkhali women have surfaced, which have been shared by the TMC in the past few days.

A new video has emerged, claiming that over 70 women were allegedly paid Rs 2,000 each to participate in protests against local TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his associates. However, the authenticity of these videos remains unverified.

Bengal Minister Shashi Panja held Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the incident, saying, "This is Modi's guarantee... all this is happening under his directives. Under PM Modi's directives, the BJP and its candidate attacked Trinamool Congress."

The clash in Sandeshkhali highlights the escalating tensions between the TMC and BJP in West Bengal ahead of the elections. As allegations and counter-allegations continue to fly, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the intense political rivalry in the state. With both parties accusing each other of using coercive tactics and spreading false narratives, the authenticity of the circulating videos remains a key point of contention.

Key Takeaways

  • TMC and BJP workers clash in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal, leaving one TMC worker injured.
  • BJP's Rekha Patra allegedly led women workers in thrashing a TMC worker.
  • TMC seeks action against BJP leaders, including NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma.
  • Clash allegedly started over TMC workers threatening BJP supporters, including a Lok Sabha candidate's daughter.
  • Incident highlights escalating tensions between TMC and BJP ahead of West Bengal elections.