West Bengal post-poll violence: 11 reportedly killed, MHA seeks report from state government

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed that six of its party workers were killed in this violence, allegedly perpetrated by TMC workers. According to the BJP, an elderly woman who was trying to save her son from the violent mob was killed and a party worker in Kolkata was lynched soon after he posted videos on Facebook about the goons killing his pet dogs.

At least 11 people were killed since Sunday evening after the ruling Trinamool Congress emerged victorious in the just-concluded state Assembly elections, according to a report by Times of India. The Union Home Ministry on Monday asked for a detailed report from the Bengal government in this regard.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed that six of its party workers were killed in this violence, allegedly perpetrated by TMC workers. According to the BJP, an elderly woman who was trying to save her son from the violent mob was killed and a party worker in Kolkata was lynched soon after he posted videos on Facebook about the goons killing his pet dogs.

While Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has appealed for peace, her party Trinamool Congress has claimed that it lost 4 of its party workers in what it turned as  ‘political vendetta’. The ISF, which partnered Congress and Left in the polls, said one of its workers was also killed, Times of India reported.

West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar summoned the DGP, Kolkata police commissioner and the state home secretary on Monday evening as violence spread through several districts. "Take all steps to ensure post-poll violence, arson, loot and killings end,” he advised Mamata Banerjee when they both met later.

However,   questioning the role of the Cooch Behar SP while violence continued unabated in the north Bengal district, Mamata Banerjee said  "I want to remind BJP that what they are doing is not right...I want to tell the police that some of them have worked in favour of the BJP. But this is the time we should perform Raj Dharma."

Meanwhile, BJP on Monday announced that it will host a nationwide protest on Wednesday against the violence that was carried in the state. The party also alleged that TMC unleashed this violence after grabbing the power in the state subsequent to the election results. BJP national president JP Nadda also declared that he will make a two-day visit to Bengal, beginning Tuesday,  to take stock of the violence.

"Houses of over 4,000 BJP workers were ransacked overnight and at least 100 shops were looted," BJP's Bengal minder Kailash Vijayvargiya said.

BJP's Chakdah MLA Bankim Ghosh allegedly came under attack, too. "We are informing the Election Commission and the Union home minister about the situation," state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said after meeting governor Dhankhar. "There is an atmosphere of fear. The ruling dispensation is not doing anything, the police are silent and ineffective."

"Alarming situation in Nanoor (Birbhum district) with more than a thousand Hindu families out in the fields to escape marauding mobs seeking to take it out against BJP supporters. Reports of molestation or worse of women. Amit Shah, please rush some security to the area," Former Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta tweeted to the Union Home Minister.

Mamata said handling the pandemic was her immediate priority. She urged all to show restraint and celebrate the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore on May 9 to "showcase the cultural ambience of Bengal".

"Bengal is a peace-loving place. During the elections, there has been some heat and dust and calm. The BJP did a lot of torture, also the CAPF. But I appeal to all for calm. Don't indulge in violence. If there is a dispute, inform the police. The police must manage law and order," she said.

Reacting to her statement, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, "It's a good thing Mamata Banerjee has called for peace. If things don't calm down, then we will hold protests and dharnas. In less than 24 hours of the results, at least 5-6 of our party workers were killed, a 1000 homes and offices vandalised. Why this violence by Trinamool even after a victory?"