31 July, 2021

A Blood Meridian

Eyes set on next year’s assembly polls, TMC and BJP draw swords in a gathering mass of political violence in Bengal

Short march
State police use water cannons to disperse BJP supporters marching towards the state secretariat on October 10
Photograph by PTI
A Blood Meridian

Political violence breeds retaliatory strikes, heightening acrimonious tension and creating a miasma of fear. West Bengal, incubator of a blood-soaked political culture, has entered another sanguinary cycle.

Within three days of the murder of Manish Shukla, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and a close aide of its Barrackpore BJP MP Arjun Singh, the state police increased the security of Partha Bhowmik, a Trinamool Congress MLA from Naihati, an assembly segment within the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency. The state administration fears that Bhowmik, who has played a leading role in recovering ground lost to the BJP in Barrackpore when Arjun Singh switched over from the TMC and won on a BJP ticket, could be a marked man. The Bengal CID has arrested three persons for Shukla’s death and suspect personal rivalry to be the motive; the BJP has alleged it was a political murder “jointly planned and executed by the TMC and the police”.

On October 12, two BJP state unit vice presidents, Biswapriya Roy Chowdhury and Arjun Singh, addressed a press meet in...

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