Bengal governor greeted with black flags
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar faced protests in multiple locations of Cooch Behar district on Thursday when he visited some areas that saw post-poll clashes.
His convoy faced black flags, “go back” slogans and questions on why he was silent on the Sitalkuchi deaths.
Dhankhar did not meet the families of four youths of Sitalkuchi who had fallen to CISF bullets on April 10 during polls. Neither did he meet the kin of Ananda Barman, a youth shot on the same day in a clash in another poll booth.
“The governor has always crossed his brief....His visit to Cooch Behar is nothing but a BJP-conceived plan (to further a lopsided version of post-poll violence),” said senior Trinamul leader Sougata Roy.
At Mathabhanga and Sitalkuchi, Dhankhar visited homes of BJP supporters, who alleged Trinamul-backed goons had ransacked their properties.
Partha Pratim Roy, the Cooch Behar Trinamul chief, said: “We don’t have problem with the governor visiting homes of BJP supporters, but he should have met injured Trinamul supporters and families who lost their dear ones in Sitalkuchi. He acted in a biased manner and violated the Constitution.”
Dhankhar told journalists: “I represent a constitutional post and no one can force me
to act against constitutional provisions. (But) during and after the elections, inciting remarks were made to trigger violence.”
As his convoy headed for Sitalkuchi and Mathabhanga from Cooch Behar, a group of people near Golokganj area on the way wielded black flags and shouted “go back”.
On the way to Sitalkuchi, another group under Jorpatki Nagarik Mancha demonstrated when the governor moved through the outskirts of Jorpatki, the village where the CISF opened fire on April 10.
At Dinhata, he had to face similar protests.
Dhankhar was accompanied by BJP MP Nisith Pramanik and many new BJP MLAs.
“He appears so concerned over the situation in Cooch Behar but could not find time to meet us,” said Rahila Khatun, wife of Maniruzzaman Mian, one of the four who died in the CISF firing.
He is staying in Cooch Behar on Thursday night and will visit camps on Friday in Assam, where around 600 Cooch Behar residents have allegedly taken refuge from post-poll violence.
On Wednesday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee in her letter to Dhankhar said he was bypassing the state government by planning visits on his own. Some bureaucrats had also questioned why Dhankhar was using a BSF chopper to visit a district that had calmed down.