14 dead in turf fight after Bengal verdict

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KOLKATA: Hours after trends showed Trinamool Congress’ landslide victory in West Bengal on Sunday, the state convulsed under post-poll violence wave from Sitalkuchi in the north to Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas that left at least 14 people dead, including two women. While the BJP claimed seven of the victims were its supporters, the Trinamool counted six of the diseased as its workers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and inquired about the situation. BJP president J P Nadda met the families of the victims to express solidarity. BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya alleged that houses over 4,000 houses were ransacked and at least 100 shops were looted. The party also alleged that two of its booth agents were gang-raped, but there was no confirmation from the police.

Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said in most of the cases, the deaths were a result of the BJP’s factionalism between old workers and turncoats. “In some places, the BJP’s provocation triggered public anger,” he claimed. A worker of the Indian Secular Force, a partner of the Left Front, was killed in Bhangar, South 24 Parganas. In Kolkata’s Kankurgachi, slain BJP worker Abhijit Sarkar’s mother alleged her son was beaten to death by Trinamool supporters.

Shovarani Mondal, a woman in her mid-60s, was allegedly killed at Jagaddal in North 24 Parganas, when she tried to protect her BJP worker son from being dragged away. In Sitalkuchi, 19-year-old Manik Baidya was shot dead by alleged Trinamool supporters. The Trinamool alleged two of their supporters Saju Khan and Bivas Bag were beaten to death by BJP supporters in Jamalpur, East Burdwan, for shouting Jay Bangla. In Hooghly, Trinamool worker Debu Pramanik was hacked to death at his home. Another party man Ganesh Mandal was killed at Raina, East Burdwan.

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