Babul Supriyo and Senapati Mandal (right) argue in Raniganj on Saturday.
Picture by Santosh Kumar Mondal
Durgapur, April 12: Around 150 Trinamul Congress workers led by a block president today allegedly threw stones at Asansol BJP candidate Babul Supriyo’s car in front of police and pushed the singer during a road show in Raniganj today.
The Trinamul activists also allegedly beat up two BJP colleagues accompanying Supriyo. The BJP candidate and Trinamul lodged police complaints against each other hours later.
BJP leaders alleged that Trinamul workers, led by local block president Senapati Mandal, stopped Supriyo’s SUV at Egara village around 11.30am and began banging on its bonnet. The singer’s car was being escorted by personnel from Raniganj police station in two jeeps.
The Trinamul workers allegedly threw stones at the SUV and, when it stopped, dragged out BJP worker Manimoy Bhattacharya, who was at the wheel, and beat him up. Another local BJP leader, Kajal Pal, is also said to have been assaulted.
Supriyo alleged that he was abused and pushed when he came to their rescue.
“The Trinamul workers beat up our party leaders and pushed me when I tried to save them. The Trinamul workers led by Senapati Mandal also prevented me from campaigning. I have lodged complaints with the police and the Election Commission,” the singer said.
Pal was admitted to a private hospital in Raniganj town after he complained of chest pain. The BJP alleged that the policemen “stood silent spectators” during the attack.
Supriyo and Mandal got involved in an altercation after the attack and accused each other of instigation. Supriyo left the area after around 45 minutes without campaigning.
As the news spread, some BJP workers blocked NH60 in Raniganj. Supriyo rushed to the spot and pacified them.
“I told my party workers not to block the road as it would inconvenience people. The people will protest (the alleged attack) by voting for me on April 7. Trinamul workers are scared because of the strong wave in Narendra Modi’s favour and my popularity,” the Asansol BJP candidate said.
Supriyo, accompanied by some BJP workers, went to Raniganj police station and lodged a complaint with the officer in charge, Arnab Guha. After that, Supriyo went to a party worker’s house in Raniganj town to have lunch and take rest.
In the evening, Supriyo lodged a complaint with Asansol additional district magistrate Amit Dutta, who is also the returning officer for the Asansol Lok Sabha seat.
Trinamul block president Mandal denied the allegation about an attack. “The BJP candidate and his party workers were shouting slogans against Trinamul and bursting crackers in front of my house, to which some of our cadres objected,” Mandal said.
“I told him to campaign peacefully but he and his associates beat up our workers. We did not assault anybody. We have lodged a police complaint against Supriyo and his party workers.”
Guha, the Raniganj OC, denied the charge of police inaction. “We rescued the BJP candidate and his party workers,” he said.