Kolkata, April 19 (IANS) The opposition in West Bengal Saturday accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of inciting violence that led to the death of a CPI-M activist after being allegedly beaten up by Trinamool Congress workers in Birbhum district.
Seikh Hiralal, a Communist Party of India-Marxist activist, succumbed to his injuries Friday night after he was publicly thrashed following the discovery of explosives near Suri in the district, a few kilometres from where Banerjee addressed a rally.
Confirming the incident, Birbhum Superintendent of Police R.M. Khan said: “He died after being publicly thrashed. We have received a complaint against eight people and we are conducting raids to arrest them.”
While the Trinamool alleged a conspiracy to eliminate Banerjee, the opposition accused the chief minister of inciting violence after several houses of CPI-M activists in the district were attacked allegedly by “Trinamool goons”.
Addressing rallies in Murshidabad and Birbhum districts, Banerjee, who Thursday had a narrow escape after a fire broke out in her hotel room, claimed there was a “conspiracy to kill her”.
Left Front chairman Biman Bose told media persons here: “The chief minister is inciting her party people to unleash violence on the opposition and the direct result of that is the killing of Hiralal. Moreover, these talks of conspiracy are a larger plan to falsely implicate our people and launch a campaign against us.”
Marxist leader and Jadavpur Lok Sabha candidate Sujon Chakraborty too condemned the killing and expressed dismay over police not making any arrest in the case, while five CPI-M activists have been arrested in connection with the discovery of explosives.
“CM’s security is paramount but then making it an issue to launch attacks on rivals and killing them is unacceptable. It’s a dangerous trend and there is a need for a through probe,” said Chakraborty.
BJP leader Shamik Bhattacharya too condemned the killing and ridiculed the Trinamool’s conspiracy theory.
“When the chief minister is travelling by air, I can’t find the relevancy as to how some explosives found near a road can compromise her security. It is very unfortunate that Trinamool goons are citing the CM’s security to launch attacks on rivals,” said Bhattacharya.
Congress leader Abdul Manna too echoed similar views and condemned the attacks.
The CPI-M will observe a “protest day” Sunday against the killing.