Attack on JP Nadda in Bengal: Amit Shah orders probe; BJP leaders slam 'sponsored violence'
Deploring the assault on Nadda, senior party leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said this attack is a reflection of the declining law and order in the state of West Bengal.
Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday ordered an investigation into an attack on BJP chief JP Nadda's convoy in West Bengal and asked Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for a detailed report on law and order in the state.
The home ministry called for two reports from the Bengal administration in a matter of 12 hours as per NDTV.
Earlier Thursday, Nadda's convoy came under attack allegedly by TMC supporters in West Bengal leaving several injured, party leaders and eyewitnesses said.
The vehicles in Nadda's motorcade were attacked when he was on way to Diamond Harbour to address a meeting of party workers. The incident resulted in injuries to several BJP leaders, including party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Nadda, who was in a bullet-proof vehicle, escaped unharmed. He is on a two-day visit to West Bengal for an outreach campaign ahead of next year’s Assembly elections.
The BJP national president called the attack "unprecedented" and alleged the state has slipped into "complete lawlessness and goonda raj".
Those present at the scene said scores of alleged TMC workers, some carrying sticks and iron rods and others armed with bricks, blocked the road near Sirakul in South 24 Pargana district adjoining Kolkata with motorcycles.
Shouting slogans against the BJP and the media, they squabbled with police when they tried to clear the way.
As the convoy tried to move past the protesting crowd, many ran alongside the vehicles, ominously thumping them with fists, sticks and iron rods, smashing windscreens and window panes.
TMC goons attacked Kailash ji at Sirakal more, Diamond Harbour. Aimed bricks at him. Why Pishi and Bhaipo are so scared? Shameful act of cowardice! Clearly Pishi & her goons are fearful of people’s support for BJP in West Bengal. #BengalSupportsBJP pic.twitter.com/v9hblXevu9
— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) December 10, 2020
Another batch of protesters, who had blocked a stretch of road a few kilometres away, advanced menacingly at the sight of the motorcade and pounded it with bricks.
Vijayvargiya and party vice-president Mukul Roy were injured in the hand, while the latter's security guard was hit by a stone in the head.
As some journalists emerged from the vehicles, they were pushed and shoved back, according to a PTI reporter accompanying Nadda.
Police ultimately chased away the protesters and Nadda managed to reach the meeting venue.
"What I witnessed today is shocking and unprecedented. West Bengal has become a state characterised by utter lawlessness and intolerance. The administration has completely failed and goonda raj prevails," Nadda later told a meeting of party workers.
Nadda said he was not hurt as he was travelling in a bulletproof car, but others in the convoy were assaulted.
When such a thing can happen to senior leaders of the BJP, the plight of common party cadres can be easily imagined, he said.
"If I have reached here for the meeting it is due to Maa Durga's grace... I can imagine how difficult it is for common party workers in Bengal," he said.
The BJP leader asserted the days of the TMC government are numbered. "We have to defeat this goonda raj and we will," he said, adding "the state has reached a new low under the misrule of the TMC government".
"Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya were injured in the attack today. It is a matter of shame for democracy. There isn't a car in our convoy which was not attacked. I am safe because I was travelling in a bullet-proof car. This state of lawlessness and intolerance in West Bengal has to end," he said.
"This goonda raj cannot be allowed to continue. This is jungle raj, the administration has collapsed."
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, whose nephew Abhishek Banerjee represents Diamond Harbour in the Lok Sabha, insinuated the attack was staged.
"Every day they (BJP activists) are coming out (for rallies) with firearms. They are slapping themselves and blaming it on the Trinamool Congress. Just think of the situation. They are roaming around with the BSF, CRPF, Army, CISF... then why are you so scared," Banerjee said in Kolkata.
Without directly naming Banerjee, Nadda said it is also a matter of shame that the present MP of Diamond Harbour is not seen in his constituency.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, whose vehicle was also attacked, alleged "Bengal has turned into Syria" under the TMC.
“...there exists complete violation on the part of WB Police & administration to ensure full security arrangements for Hon’ble @JPNadda ji, wrote to Hon’ble @HMOIndia @AmitShah on this... pic.twitter.com/pkSq8yoCKk
— Dilip Ghosh (@DilipGhoshBJP) December 10, 2020
Nadda, who was scheduled to address a press conference in Diamond Harbour, cancelled it and rushed back to Kolkata where he will meet the media later in the evening.
The West Bengal police sought to downplay the incident, insisting "nothing happened to the convoy".
Shri JP Nadda, National President, BJP reached safely at the venue, Diamond Harbour, South 24 Pgs. Nothing happened to his convoy. Few bystanders at Debipur, Falta PS, Diamond Harbour PD, sporadically and suddenly threw stones towards vehicles trailing long behind his convoy. 1/2
— West Bengal Police (@WBPolice) December 10, 2020
"Everyone is safe and situation is peaceful. The matter is being investigated to find out actual happenings," it said in another.
BJP leaders slam 'sponsored violence'
Condemning the incident, BJP leaders said it is an attack on democracy and the Bengal government will have to answer to people for this "sponsored violence."
Several union ministers, including Rajanth Singh, reacted with indignation over the incident.
The party leaders and senior ministers also demanded the strictest possible action against "goons" who carried out the attack.
Earlier today Shah said the Bengal government will have to answer to the peace-loving people of the state.
"Bengal has descended into an era of tyranny, anarchy and darkness under the Trinamool rule. The manner in which political violence has been institutionalised and brought to the extreme in West Bengal under TMC rule is sad and worrying," Shah wrote in series of tweets.
The governor tweeted that he had intimated the state administration, at 8.19 am and 9.05 am on Thursday, of the possibility of the collapse of law and order during a BJP meeting at Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district.
Their continued non responsive stance signals failure of constitutional machinery in the State. pic.twitter.com/0Fyo3qFzXk
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) December 10, 2020
Deploring the assault on Nadda, senior party leader and defence minister Rajnath Singh said this attack is a reflection of the declining law and order in the state of West Bengal.
"The attack on the convoy of the BJP national president, should be thoroughly investigated and the responsibility of this incident should be fixed," Rajnath said in a series of tweets.
Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal also deplored the attack in a press conference on farm laws dubbed it as an attack on democracy in West Bengal.
"Attack on our national president JP Nadda and senior party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya is a deplorable act. There is a complete breakdown of law and order in West Bengal," Tomar said.
Attacking the TMC-led government in the state for alleged assault on BJP chief, Goyal said it is an attack on democracy and attempts have been made to muzzle democratic processes in the state. He demanded the strictest possible action against the "goons" behind the attack.
With inputs from PTI
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