2 children out of 8 charred to death in Birbhum district
In an alleged display of intra-party dispute in West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress, eight people, including two children, were burned to death in Birbhum district on Tuesday, shortly after the “assassination” of a local party leader. The incident triggered a political firestorm with the opposition BJP seeking to impose the president’s rule on the state, while the TMC called the lawsuit a conspiracy to smear it.
Opposition parties claimed that the TMC is behind the incident, a charge denied by the ruling party. Describing the deaths as “horrifying”, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said the state is dominated by a culture of “violence and lawlessness”.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called on Dhankhar to refrain from making unwarranted remarks, saying his comments have “political overtones” and support other political parties to intimidate the state government.
DGP Manoj Malaviya told reporters that eight people, including two children, died in the early hours of Tuesday after their houses caught fire in the village of Bogtui, near the city of Rampurhat. The incident took place shortly after the alleged assassination of Trinamool Congress leader Bhadu Sheikh, deputy head of the local panchayat, Malaviya said.
However, the DGP did not confirm it as “political violence.” “We are not confirming that the fire was due to retaliation for other incidents. It is being investigated. If it was, it was due to a deep-seated personal feud,” he said.
At least eight houses caught fire and police and firefighters arrived at the scene at midnight, Malaviya said. “The situation is now under control and a police picket has been placed in the village. We are investigating how the houses were burned down and whether the incident is related to the death of the deputy panchayat chief of the neighboring village of Barshal,” she said.
When asked about claims by some fire brigade personnel that 10 bodies were found, the senior police official said seven bodies were recovered after the fire was brought under control and three injured were rescued, one of who died in a hospital.
The state government formed a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by ADG (CID) Gyanwant Singh to investigate the matter.
“The horrific violence and arson orgy #Rampurhat #Birbhum indicates that the state is dominated by the culture of violence and lawlessness,” the governor tweeted as he sought an update from the chief secretFGN. In a letter to Dhankhar, the prime minister said: “It pains me that you have chosen an unfortunate incident in Rampurhat to pass radical and unnecessFGN comments on the state of law and order in the state. This incident is unfortunate.” The incident triggered a new wave of war of words between the ruling TMC and opposition parties.
Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari demanded the imposition of the president’s rule in the state. “The lawless situation in the state shows that imposing the president’s rule is the only way to protect the state. Our delegation will visit the area tomorrow. We will also meet with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the issue,” he said, claiming that the TMC is now killing its own people.
BJP lawmakers walked out of the West Bengal Assembly on Tuesday at the end of the day’s first half session demanding that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee make a statement in the House plenFGN about the incident.
The accusations of the TMC’s involvement in this tragedy are unfounded, said state secretFGN general and party spokesman Kunal Ghosh. “We condemn the deaths that appear to have occurred from an accidental fire. It was our party leader who was killed last night. The state government has formed an SIT to investigate the matter,” he said.
The TMC has sent a team of three MLAs led by Minister Firhad Hakim to the village to assess the situation. CPI(M) SecretFGN of State Mohammed Salim said Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will have to take responsibility for the deaths.
“The incident in Bogtui village is a result of the violence unleashed by the ruling party. Now they are killing each other,” Salim said at the party’s headquarters here. The president of the State Congress, Adhir Chowdhury, stated that the situation in West Bengal has been deteriorating and is ideal for the imposition of article 355 of the Constitution.
“This (kill number) will increase in the coming days under the leadership of Trinamool Congress Supreme and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has unbottled a ghost. It will be impossible for her to bottle the ghost again,” he said. The leader of the Lok Sabha Congress party said he will meet with President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to consider imposing article 355 on statistics.
The incident brought back memories of mass killings in the state during the left-wing government, such as Choto Anagaria in 2001, when 11 TMC workers were burned alive, and the Netai massacre in 2011, when nine people were killed in the West Bank district. Midnapore.
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