Leaders and supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal laid siege to major roads in different parts of the state, including the NH-2 near Asansol, on Wednesday morning in protest against the arrest of party MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay. Many vehicles were also stranded.
Bandyopadhyay was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged role in the Rs 15,000 crore Rose Valley ponzi scam.
There were reports of BJP party offices being demolished in two areas – Canning in South 24 Parganas and Durgapur in Burdwan districts.
An agitation and stone pelting by enraged Trinamool Congress activists continued for over three hours over the arrest of party MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay even on Tuesday. Central Reserve Police Force personnel were posted near the BJP state headquarters in large numbers.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Secretary Rahul Sinha said the presence of the troopers, who provide security to him, was bolstered after his party’s state headquarters was attacked by the Trinamool activists.
“The Chief Minister has instigated the agitation with her comments after the Trinamool MP’s arrest. In this situation, we do not feel secure under the surveillance of state police.
“I get CRPF protection. For my security, more CRPF personnel have been deputed in view of the ongoing violence,” Sinha told IANS.
“Our workers, who got injured in the initial attack, have still not been shifted to the hospital. Trinamool is trying to terrorise us, but their tactics would not work,” he added.
Rapid Action Force personnel were also deployed to control the situation, city police said.
As the news of the MP’s arrest spread, hundreds of Trinamool activists took to the streets.
Traffic had to be diverted from the Central Avenue in the heart of the city, close to the BJP headquarters in Muralidhar Sen Lane, due to the resultant chaos, police said.
The Trinamool supporters shouted slogans and blocked the entrances to the BJP office. A few BJP workers bled from the head as they spoke to the media.
Some cars parked in the alley leading to the office were vandalised and stones pelted at the building.
The situation became worse in the evening as thousands of Trinamool supporters broke police barricades and jostled with police personnel posted in front of the BJP office.
Police said no one had been arrested yet in connection with the violence.
The BJP workers present in the office during the alleged attack said the assault was “pre-planned and unprovoked”.
“We were sitting inside the party office when some Trinamool goons attacked our party office and hurled bricks at us without any provocation. Around 15 of our party workers got injured in the incident,” a BJP worker claimed.
State BJP President Dilip Ghosh strongly condemned the attack.
“This attack was expected. The Trinamool Congress has become scared after the arrest of their Lok Sabha leader and is resorting to violence. This shows who is doing ‘vendetta politics’ in the country,” Ghosh said.
BJP MP Roopa Ganguly accused the city police of not taking action against the Trinamool supporters involved in the violence.
“Police could have easily arrested the people who were hurling bricks at our party office. But no action was taken as they were related to the ruling party,” Ganguly said.