Trinamul and BJP supporters clashed at a locality under Sitai police station of Cooch Behar near the convoy of Union minister of state for home affairs Nisith Pramanik on Thursday.
Supporters of both parties were injured in the incident. Motorcycles of both BJP and Trinamul supporters were damaged. Police brought the situation under control.
Pramanik, who is also the local MP, has accused Udayan Guha, the state north Bengal development minister, and Trinamul’s Dinhata MLA, of instigating his party supporters to attack BJP workers. Trinamul leaders alleged that Pramanik was trying to foment tension in Cooch Behar ahead of panchayat elections.
Sources said that around 1.30pm, Pramanik, along with district BJP chief Sukumar Roy and some others were on way to Singimari-Amtala village of Sitai to meet a party supporter who had got injured in a recent political clash.
As the junior minister’s convoy was heading towards the village, Trinamul supporters on the side of the road with black flags shouted slogans against Pramanik and the BJP.
Some BJP supporters travelling along with Pramanik in the convoy, got down and attacked the Trinamul supporters. They rained blows on the protesters, snatched the black flags and damaged bikes.
Soon, a clash ensued. The agitated Trinamul supporters damaged some bikes which the BJP supporters were riding behind the convoy.
Police brought the situation under control. Pramanik left the spot unharmed.
Jagadish Barma Basunia, the Trinamul MLA of Sitai, said ever since Pramanik became Cooch Behar MP, he never visited Sitai. “That is why some people demonstrated with black flags. At that time, some goons who were with the MP attacked protesters. Pramanik did nothing for residents of Cooch Behar. Now that panchayat elections are nearing, he is trying to create tension,” said Basunia.
Pramanik alleged Guha instigated his supporters to attack the BJP workers: “We will always stand with our supporters. Let us be clear. If anybody attacks us, we will not toss flowers at them..”