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Updated January 13th, 2024 at 09:16 IST

Palghar Part 2? Sadhus En Route to Gangasagar for Makar Sankranti Assaulted in Purulia, WB

Sadhus en route to Gangasagar for Makar Sankranti were allegedly stripped and beaten by TMC party affiliates. The West Bengal ruling-party is yet to respond.

Digital Desk
Visuals from the incident: Sadhus en route to Gangasagar for Makar Sankranti were allegedly assaulted
Visuals from the incident: Sadhus en route to Gangasagar for Makar Sankranti were allegedly assaulted | Image:ANI
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Kolkata: In a shocking incident from Purulia district, West Bengal, a video has gone viral purportedly showing a group of seers being assaulted by a mob,as per reports on Friday, January 12. The incident ensuingly triggered reactions from BJP.

BJP leader Amit Malviya, who serves as the party's IT Cell head, was among the first to respond. He asserted that it is now considered a crime to be Hindu in West Bengal. 

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The viral footage depicts a group of sadhus, on their way to Gangasagar for Makar Sankranti, being allegedly stripped and beaten by individuals affiliated with the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). Drawing a parallel to the Palghar lynching incident, Malviya condemned the attack, pointing fingers at the TMC for its involvement. He took to his official social media handle to express his dismay, stating, “in Mamata Banerjee's regime, a terrorist like Shahjahan Sheikh gets state protection and sadhus are being lynched. It is a crime to be a Hindu in West Bengal.”

Reports indicate that the Trinamool Congress has not responded to Malviya's comments or the reported incident at the time of this report. 

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Mob Violence in Purulia: BJP Demands Probe into Assault on Saints Amid Abduction Rumors

The Vice President of Purulia District BJP, commenting on the incident, stated, "Three saints, one of their cooks, and their car driver were severely beaten after coming to Bengal from Uttar Pradesh. As soon as the rumor spread that three saints were abducting minors, they were attacked by the mob." 

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The seers, a father, and two sons were on their way to Gangasagar Mela, having rented a car from Uttar Pradesh. Despite the presence of the police, an agitated crowd assaulted the saints, prompting the Purulia district BJP to demand an impartial and thorough investigation into the incident.

BJP State President Dr. Sukanta Majumdar, in a tweet, also expressed, “Sadhus en route to Gangasagar were stripped and beaten by criminals linked to TMC, echoing the Palghar tragedy. Under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s rule, a terrorist like Shahjahan gets state protection while sadhus face violence. Being Hindu is a crime in WB.”

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The BJP spokesperson, Shehzad Poonawalla, while addressing the incident, questioned if this is 'Palghar part 2'. He said, "Today, the manner in which Palghar part 2 was seen in WB, Purulia, the way saints were beaten brutally and mercilessly by the goons of TMC." Poonawalla further inquired, "Is it a crime to be Hindu?" Additionally, he highlighted that if saints are being assaulted, it shows the deteriorating security situation in the state.

Video Where Bengal Sadhus Were Allegedly Assaulted

Sheikh Shahjahan, TMC Strongman, Still Absconding Following Attack on ED Officials

The situation is further complicated by the alleged involvement of Sheikh Shahjahan, a TMC strongman and local panchayat leader. Shahjahan is reported to be absconding since an attack on teams from the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in North 24 Parganas district. During the raid, officials were heckled, assaulted, and their vehicles vandalised. Two ED officials also sustained injuries in the incident.

As the BJP criticises the Mamata Banerjee government, accusing it of a breakdown in law and order, the TMC contends that locals reacted due to 'provocation' from the ED teams conducting raids. These raids were part of an investigation into an alleged ration scam in the state.

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The incident adds to the ongoing political turmoil in West Bengal, with both parties trading accusations. The gravity of the situation is further underlined by the serious allegations of violence against sadhus and the reported absconding of a TMC leader. 

Further details are awaited as the situation unfolds.

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Published January 13th, 2024 at 06:53 IST

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