In a horrifying incident, at least 10 Hindus were killed after their houses were set ablaze in the Rampurhat area of Birbhum in West Bengal early on Tuesday. The CPI(M) alleged the victim’s houses were set ablaze to avenge the killing of TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh on Monday. Sheikh was killed after crude bombs were hurled at him in Rampurhat.
The Times of India reported a mob gathered in Baguti village and attacked and set fire to houses after news of Sheikh’s killing. A total of 10 houses caught fire. The fire department claimed 10 bodies had been recovered so far. Earlier, firefighters who rushed to the spot claimed 10 women and two children were killed.
Forensic experts have rushed to the spot. Meanwhile, the CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty alleged the violence was a result of internal rivalries in the TMC. However, Anubrata Mandal, district president of the TMC, denied there was any murder or violence and claimed the fire was triggered by a short circuit.
The BJP alleged the incident was akin to the mass killing of the era of CPI(M) rule. The BJP demanded the imposition of the President’s Rule in West Bengal. If it is confirmed the fire was set deliberately, it would be the first mass political killings since Mamata Banerjee took over as chief minister in 2011. In 2007, there were incidents of mass killings in Nandigram.
Mamata Banerjee’s TMC is notoriously infamous for orchestrating killings of rivals, especially Hindus. After the previous assembly elections, TMC workers killed many Hindus and forced thousands of Hindus to flee West Bengal. Calcutta Highcourt and NHRC have slammed Mamata Government for its lackluster approach and support to the criminal elements.