regular-article-logo Tuesday, 06 June 2023

Jhargram: Kurmi protesters target Bengal junior forest minister Birbaha Hansda’s car

Kurmis also beat up a dozen Trinamul workers who were tailing the convoy on motorbikes, says police source

Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 27.05.23, 04:46 AM
Birbaha Hansda.

Birbaha Hansda. File picture

The car of Bengal junior forest minister Birbaha Hansda, who was travelling behind the convoy of Trinamul Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee, was vandalised and at least a dozen Trinamul workers were beaten up allegedly by a group of Kurmi protesters in Jhargram on Friday night.

“A group of around 400 Kurmi people were agitating on a state highway near Jhargram on Friday afternoon. They wanted to speak to Abhishek Banerjee regarding their demand (for Scheduled Tribe status). As soon as the convoy crossed them, they turned violent and started hurling stones targeting the car of Hansda. They also beat up a dozen Trinamul workers who were tailing the convoy on motorbikes,” said a police source.


Abhishek, who had to walk 3km to attend a political meeting, said: “The Kurmi organisations have to say whether they were behind today’s attack. I am giving them 48 hours. If they do not do so, we will consider that they were involved in this incident.”

Abhishek claimed he had heard Jai Shri Ram slogans. “Why did they raise Jai Shri Ram slogans? They are fighting for ST tag. Then why did they mount an attack on Birbaha, who is a tribal woman?” he asked.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to visit West Midnapore’s Salboni, a few kilometres from Jhargram, on Saturday to take part in a political event along with Abhishek.

Hansda blamed the BJP and the CPM for the attack. “Trinamul never opposed the Kurmis over their protest. The BJP and the CPM played a role in the attack,” she said.

The incident took place two days after Abhishek was stopped at three points in Bankura by Kurmis. Abhishek had on Wednesday night said he would extend full support to the demand of the community if the Kurmis vow to abandon the BJP.

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