A party worker of Trinamool Congress (TMC) and two other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers were killed in a clash that broke out over removing party flags in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, on Saturday, June 8.
The incident happened in Nyazat area of Sandeshkhali area, about 70 km from Kolkata at around 7 pm after TMC workers allegedly removed BJP's flags in Hatgacha. The TMC leaders, on the other hand, blamed BJP workers of defacing their flags.
A huge police force including personnel from Rapid Action Force were rushed to the area to maintain peace. The area is part of the Bashirhat Lok Sabha seat where the TMC won in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections. But at Hatgacha, BJP had a 144-vote lead over the Trinamool.
Although only three bodies were brought to a hospital in Basirhat until Saturday night, the BJP is claiming that five of its workers were killed, while TMC leaders claimed that three of their workers were murdered.
The state BJP General Secretary, Sayantan Basu, reportedly claimed that three of the party's workers - Pradip Mondal, Tapan Mondal and Sukanta Mondal - were killed and five other functionaries injured. TMC said that while the party' 26-year-old worker, Qayum Mollah, was stabbed to death, two others were thrown into the water.
The violence erupted when TMC workers were holding a booth-level meet at a marketplace at Hatgacha, where several BJP workers were also in the vicinity. While the BJP claims that the TMC workers opened fire on them after a verbal scuffle between the party workers, TMC claimed that the BJP workers pulled out a pistol.
"During a booth level meeting of our workers in Hatgachhi, some miscreants, backed by the BJP, attacked them. Mollah, a 26-year-old Trinamool worker, was taken out of the party office and stabbed to death," Trinamool's district President, Jyotipriya Mallick, reportedly claimed.
BJP leader Mukul Roy took to Twitter to blame TMC president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the violence.
Roy also said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been informed about the incident. "A team of BJP MPs will visit the area on Sunday and submit a report to Shah," he said.
Two TMC workers were also killed in two separate incidents in West Bengal earlier this month. The TMC supporters had blamed BJP for both the killings, but BJP refuted the claims. "A personal issue was the cause of the incident, TMC is trying to politicise the issue," Nitish Pramanaik, BJP MP from Cooch Behar, had reportedly said.