KOLKATA: West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, vice president Jay Prakash Mazumdar and other leaders of a five-member state BJP delegation were chased and manhandled by angry agitators at Chowk Bazaar
in Darjeeling town Thursday. The incident occurred when protesters barged into a BJP meeting in a conference hall, asked them to leave and beat them up while chasing them till Darjeeling Sadar police station, where the delegation sought shelter from the angry protesters.
While Ghosh and Mazumdar were pushed and chased, the other leaders were kicked, punched on the face and pinned down to the ground.
The BJP chief blamed supporters of Trinamool Congress and rebel Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Binay Tamang for the violence. “One person has been injured and received medical aid. Others were badly
beaten up. They shouted ‘Binay Tamang Zindabad!’ and ‘BJP go back’. We will give a written complaint to the police. We don’t have the names as we don’t know them but police can identify the culprits with the footage available and hopefully arrest them,” he added.
Ghosh and his delegation were shown black flags by members of the Jan Andolan Party in Kalimpong on Wednesday. He had said that everyone has a democratic right to protest. However, the BJP leadership
had not anticipated the violence.
Narrating the events, Jay Prakash Mazumdar said: “First they came and asked us to leave the stage where we were holding our meeting. When we agreed to leave, they followed us and beat many of our leaders and manhandled me and Dilip. We took shelter in Darjeeling Sadar police station but did not receive any
police protection,” he said.
Speaking at a presser in Kolkata, state education minister and Mamata Banerjee’s close aide Partha Chatterjee said the manhandling was a result of BJP’s attempts to reignite trouble in Darjeeling. “When
the situation was returning to normalcy after 104 days of indefinite strike, this BJP delegation tried to create tension in Darjeeling. They have got the result of their nefarious designs,” he said. “We are not justifying the incident, but he had hurt the sentiments of the hill residents. He sowed what he reaped. Trinamool Congress is nowhere linked with this incident,” tourism and north Bengal development minister Goutam Deb said.
Union MoS for heavy industries Babul Supriyo said the incident was plotted from the plains. “This incident has been remotely controlled from the plains. Trinamool Congress has created a rebel group in
Darjeeling who attacked us today. We have informed the central leadership about the incident,” he said.