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Bengal governor airs law and order worry

BJP MP Arjun Singh had suffered head injuries during a scuffle between BJP supporters and police at Bhatpara

By TT Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 3.09.19, 2:55 AM
  • Updated 3.09.19, 2:55 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Dhankhar meets Singh at the hospital in Calcutta on Monday. (The Telegraph picture)

Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday met Barrackpore BJP MP Arjun Singh, injured during Sunday’s clashes in his constituency, in hospital and expressed concern over the state’s law and order situation.

“I came from Delhi this morning because of the serious incident. Arjun Singh is being treated. At night, he had some serious problems… I am a worried man at the moment,” the governor said.

The MP had suffered head injuries during a scuffle between BJP supporters and police at Bhatpara.

The governor, sworn in little over a month ago, explained his “worries”. “The state needs a peaceful atmosphere. It does not need violence and must be on the path of progress. We must believe in the rule of law and peace and avoid violence. I am in pain looking at the violence. I am in pain when something happens to teachers, doctors, lawyers and journalists. We must have a system where everybody works in a disciplined manner and without violence,” the governor added.

Trinamul sources termed the comments “sweeping” and saw them as an attempt to embarrass the ruling establishment.

“The trouble in the Barrackpore area is primarily because of police action against hoodlums… The governor should have sought reports from the government before raising questions on the law and order,” a senior minister said.

The minister felt the governor’s visit to Singh — who had switched from Trinamul to the BJP earlier this year — “wasn’t proper” given the situation in Barrackpore.

“Since Singh won on a BJP ticket, he has tried to unleash terror. The administration was trying to control the situation. The governor should have gone through government reports before visiting Singh,” said a Trinamul leader.

Later, Gyanwant Singh, ADG (law and order), blamed Singh. “The mob was mobilised by Arjun Singh, the MP, and his son Pawan Singh. Stones were thrown and bombs hurled… The police were restrained and they brought the situation under control.”

Gyanwant rejected the MP’s claim that he was beaten up by the police. “The police don’t hit anybody.”

The incident has led to an uproar in the Assembly with Speaker Biman Banerjee suspending Dulal Bar, a Congress MLA who recently switched to the BJP, when he tried to raise the matter in the middle of business. Leader of the Opposition and veteran Congress MLA Abdul Mannan termed the situation in Barrackpore a sign of “total breakdown of law and order”.