'CM doesn't have audacity': Mamata accuses Amit Shah of plotting attacks on Abhishek, Trinamool activists in Tripura
At least 14 leaders and workers of the Trinamool, including those injured in an alleged attack by BJP workers the previous day, were arrested in Tripura's Khowai district on Sunday.
KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah was responsible for the recent attacks on her nephew and TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and other party workers, and asserted that she won't be cowed down by such acts.
Her allegation comes days
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had orchestrated the recent attacks on her nephew and TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and other party workers, and asserted that she won't be cowed down by such acts.
Denying the charge as "baseless", the West Bengal BJP said that going by Banerjee's logic, she should be blamed for post-poll violence and murders of saffron party workers in the state.
Her allegation comes days after Abhishek Banerjee and TMC activists were attacked in separate incidents in Tripura, where the party hopes to expand its base ahead of the 2023 assembly elections.
"The BJP is running an anarchic government in Tripura, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and wherever they are in power.
We condemn the attacks on Abhishek and our party activists in Tripura," she said after meeting injured TMC workers at state-run SSKM hospital here.
"Such attacks would not have been possible without the Union home minister's active support.
He is behind these attacks which were carried out in front of Tripura Police as it remained mute spectators.
The Tripura chief minister doesn't have the audacity to order such attacks," she said.
Two TMC leaders were injured in an attack allegedly by BJP workers at Ambassa in Tripura's Dhalai district on Saturday.
Referring to the attack, Banerjee said, "The car carrying our youth leaders Debangshu Bhattacharya, Jaya Dutta and Sudip Raha was pelted with stones.
The windshield of the vehicle was smashed and even shots were fired, everything in front of the police.
" "Raha has sustained a serious head injury, while Dutta's face has swollen from shrapnel injuries.
Still, they were denied medical treatment for 36 hours.
They were not even given water to drink.
The barbaric regime in Tripura has treated them inhumanly," she said.
The TMC chief alleged that at the behest of the Centre, the BJP government in Tripura had hatched plans to prevent TMC leaders from booking flight tickets.
"There were clear instructions to not allow TMC leaders to book flight tickets, or hire aircraft and helicopters.
Five seats were booked close to Abhishek's seat in his flight for planting goons.
His life is in danger.
"Abhishek's convoy was attacked on August 2 during his visit to Tripura.
Had his car not been bullet-proof, his skull would have been fractured.
Who knows what would have happened after that?" Banerjee said.
She alleged that the BJP had earlier prevented TMC delegations from being beside NRC-affected people in Assam, and from meeting the rape victim's family in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras.
"BJP leaders talk about democracy during their visits to West Bengal but reveal their true colours in the states they rule," she said.
Banerjee asserted that the people of West Bengal and Tripura have strong ties and the BJP cannot prevent the TMC from reaching out to the people of the northeastern state.
The chief minister, who interacted with the two injured TMC leaders and the doctors attending to them, called upon the youth and the students to protest the attack.
Responding to Banerjee's charge, state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said, "The allegations against the Union home minister are baseless.
Going by her logic, she should be held responsible for the post-poll violence and murders of BJP workers in West Bengal.
Our CM should be the last person to talk about political violence.
" "The BJP doesn't lack political acumen that it would attack a non-entity like TMC to give it importance in Tripura politics," BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.
after Abhishek Banerjee and TMC student activists were attacked in separate incidents in BJP-ruled Tripura, where the party hopes to expand its base ahead of the 2023 assembly elections.
"The BJP is running an anarchic government in Tripura, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and wherever they are in power. We condemn the attacks on Abhishek and our party activists in Tripura," she said after meeting injured TMC workers at state-run SSKM hospital here.
"Such attacks would not have been possible without the Union home minister's active support. He is behind these attacks which were carried out in front of Tripura Police as it remained mute spectators. The Tripura chief minister doesn't have the audacity to order such attacks," she added.
At least 14 leaders and workers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), including those injured in an alleged attack by BJP workers the previous day, were arrested in Tripura's Khowai district on Sunday for "violating Covid norms", police said.
The TMC activists were produced before the CJM court in Khowai, which granted them bail, the party's Tripura unit spokesperson, Ashish Lal Singh, said.
TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, who is West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew and the de facto number two in the party, along with other party leaders visited Khowai amid tight security arrangements.
Police said the 14 TMC members were arrested for violating Covid restrictions by travelling after 7 pm when a night curfew comes into effect.
Singh said that party leaders including himself, Debangshu Bhattacharya, Tania Poddar, Sudip Raha and Jaya Dutta were among those arrested.
Raha and Dutta had sustained injuries when their vehicle was allegedly attacked by BJP workers at Ambassa in Dhalai district on Saturday.
"After the attack, we were returning to Agartala via National Highway 8 when the police stopped our vehicles at Khowai and took us into custody stating that there could be more attacks on us by 'miscreants'.
"Indeed, BJP activists had gathered at several places on NH 8 to attack us," Singh said.
However, early in the morning, police said the TMC members were arrested for violating Covid restrictions.
Apart from Banerjee, West Bengal TMC general secretary Kunal Ghosh, the eastern state's Education Minister Bratya Basu, and Rajya Sabha MP Dola Sen also visited Khowai.
Banerjee had earlier visited Tripura on August 2, when his convoy was also allegedly attacked by BJP workers.
After securing bail for the 14 TMC workers, Banerjee returned to Kolkata while the other senior leaders stayed back in Agartala, Singh said.
Injured party cadre, including Debangshu Bhattacharya, Jaya Dutta and Sudip Raha, were also brought back to the city late on Sunday night for treatment at a state-run city hospital, TMC said in a statement.
Debangshu Bhattacharya said he will again return to Tripura soon.
The West Bengal BJP welcomed the police action against the TMC activists, saying the Biplab Deb government is taking appropriate steps against "trouble-mongers".
Senior BJP leader and former Tripura governor Tathagata Roy claimed the TMC has no moral right to speak on law and order in the northeastern state as over 140 BJP workers have been killed in West Bengal in the last three years.
"Does the TMC want to export West Bengal's political violence to Tripura and fish in troubled waters? Their game plan will never succeed," Roy told reporters.
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh echoed him, saying, "No one gives any importance to TMC in Tripura."
"They don't have any organisation in the northeastern state. The TMC leadership is itself staging incidents to provoke the police but these will not give them any dividend."
However, senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim accused the BJP of "shedding crocodile tears" for democratic values in West Bengal and "carrying out barbaric attacks in Tripura".
Strongly criticising Saturday's attack, TMC leaders had alleged that the incident proved there was "goonda raj" (lawlessness) in Tripura and the BJP has sensed its defeat in the 2023 assembly elections.
Denying the involvement of its activists in the attack, the BJP claimed that the TMC is a non-factor in Tripura, and the West Bengal's ruling party is spreading the "virus of political violence" in the northeastern state, where "outsiders" are fomenting trouble.
Shortly after the incident, BJP and TMC supporters had faced off and staged road blockades 500 m apart on NH 8, forcing Chief Minister Biplab Deb to take a detour to return to Agartala after attending some programmes in Dharmanagar.
TMC workers led by Subal Bhowmik, a former vice-president of Tripura BJP who recently switched sides, were protesting the alleged ransacking of a TMC party office by saffron party workers in the Batarasi area of Dharmanagar on Friday night.
The West Bengal CPI(M) has also criticised the attack but also took a dig at the TMC alleging that it had kept mum when Left workers were earlier attacked in BJP-ruled Tripura.