In a key development in the Sitalkuchi violence, the Bharatiya Janata Party has released an alleged audiotape of the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee and the District president and Sitalkuchi candidate Partha Pratim, in which she can allegedly be heard saying that 'a procession will be taken out with the dead bodies of those fired upon by the CRPF, and all the CRPF personnel involved will be suspended and sent behind bars after cases are filed against them through lawyers'.
In the tape shared by the BJP, Mamata is allegedly further heard saying, "SP needs to be framed, also the IC needs to be framed."
Reacting to the tape, BJP leader Amit Malviya, said, "If you have heard the clip, you will know that Mamata Banerjee is talking to the District President and Sitalkuchi candidate, and she can be heard saying that a procession will be taken out with the dead bodies people, who lost their lives while trying to barge into the booth no. 126 and interrupt fair election."
Post the violence in Sitalkuchi, Mamata Banerjee wanted to take out procession with bodies of those who died trying to capture booth 126. She spoke about framing the SP and IC for doing their job, asked TMC’s candidate to spread misinformation about detention centers to scare Ms. pic.twitter.com/517u7IulKH— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) April 16, 2021
He added, "You cannot have somebody at the helm of affairs of the state as large and as mixed as this, with this kind of a criminal bend of mind, a person who has no problem using the death of the citizens of the state for her political gain."
Locket Chatterjee also came forward to slam Banerjee on the alleged audiotape. Accusing Banerjee, she said, "We never wanted violence or death but Banerjee provoked."
In a statement, the CISF said that its Quick Reaction Team (QRT) was attacked by a mob comprising of 50-60 miscreants who were allegedly resisting the voters from reaching polling booth no.126 in Sitalkuchi on April 10. The miscreants then attacked the QRT personnel and their vehicles forcing the latter to act in self-defence and fired six rounds in the air to disperse the crowd. The mob returned after an hour yet again and assaulted the Home guard and an Asha worker and also allegedly attempted to beat up the polling staff who were on duty.
CISF said that the mob then started approaching the CISF personnel following which seven rounds were fired at the mob. After more police party arrived at the spot, a few rounds were fired after which the crowd was dispersed. This resulted in the loss of 4 lives while three others were injured. Thereafter, the Election Commission adjourned the poll in polling booth no.126 based on the interim report from Special Observers.
A day earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the families of the individuals who were killed in the dastardly incident. The TMC supremo assured them that she would hold a probe into the firing and punish the guilty after returning to power. Moreover, she also promised to build a memorial for the "martyrs of Sitalkuchi".