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Kaliaganj girl's death: BJP-led bandh disrupts services in North Bengal; several party workers detained

BJP's Bengal bandh: Kaliaganj girl's death in suspicious circumstances stirred outrage in the region. BJP called it a failure of law and order of the Mamata Banjerjee-led government in the state.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Coochbehar Updated on: April 28, 2023 11:39 IST
12-bandh in North Bengal
Image Source : INDIA TV 12-bandh in North Bengal

BJP's Bengal bandh: The BJP called for a 12-hour bandh in districts of north Bengal on Friday to protest against the "atrocities on the tribal community" in the backdrop of a girl's death at Kaliaganj in Uttar Dinajpur district last week.

In Tufanganj, Cooch Behar, the police detained 7 people including the BJP Mandal president and Youth president. BJP workers and supporters staged a sit-in in front of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation depot in Tufanganj town on Friday in support of the bandh. Some protesters pelted stones and broke the glass of some buses.

BJP's bandh protest

"The TMC has unleashed a reign of terror in several areas of north Bengal. We have decided to call for a 12-hour bandh to protest against the atrocities on the tribal community in north Bengal districts by the state administration and the ruling party. Such atrocities are unprecedented. The shutdown will be from 6 am to 6 pm. The people will protest against the misrule of the Trinamool Congress," BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said.

Movement of students, health and emergency services will be kept out of the ambit of the shutdown, he said.

Bandh- affected cities
The north Bengal region comprises Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Darjeeling, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur and Malda. Notably, the BJP had made deep inroads in the region in the 2019 Lok Sabha and the 2021 assembly polls.

Ruling TMC's reaction
The call for shutdown from 6 am drew a sharp retort from the ruling Trinamool Congress, which accused the saffron camp of trying to "disturb the peaceful atmosphere of West Bengal".

The Trinamool Congress termed the BJP's shutdown call as an "attempt to politicise and communalise" the 17-year-old girl's death at Kaliaganj ahead of the panchayat polls.

"The police have restored peace in Kaliaganj. But the BJP is desperate to politicise and communalise the issue ahead of the panchayat polls. The people of the state would defeat such attempts to disturb peace in the area. The BJP is trying to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of West Bengal," TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.

The death of the teenage girl in Uttar Dinajpur district has kept the state's political cauldron on the boil for the last week.

Violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC, miscreants set fire to Kaliaganj Police Station on Tuesday to protest against the death of the girl whose body was found in a canal here last week.

Agitators claimed that the girl had been raped and murdered. BJP leaders had also demanded swift action against those involved in the alleged rape and murder of the girl.

However, the preliminary post-mortem examination report indicated that she had not been raped, police said. 

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Wednesday alleged that outsiders were brought to the state to carry out attacks on the police station and private property at Kaliaganj.

Altogether 11 people have been detained for their alleged involvement in violence at Kaliaganj over the death of the girl, the police said.
(With agencies input)

Also read- Manipur violence: Internet shut, Section 144 imposed in Churachandpur after mob sets on fire CM event venue

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