Mamata in Damage Control Mode, Slams Police Over Birbhum Carnage Before Ordering TMC Leader’s Arrest

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was in a damage control mode as she reached Rampurhat in Birbhum district of West Bengal on Thursday, and ordered the arrest of local Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker after the killing of a TMC panchayat leader sparked off violence in which at least 10 were allegedly burnt alive.

Banerjee had said yesterday that “nobody would be spared” and alleged that some people were trying to “defame West Bengal” as protests erupted in the state over alleged attempts to hush up “mass murders”.

Ahead of Banerjee’s visit to Rampurhat, Birbhum Superintendent of Police Nagendra Nath Tripathi inspected Bogtui village along with a large contingent of the police personnel.

After Banerjee reached Bogtui village, she questioned the police and asked, “Why precaution was not taken and what went wrong?”

She directed the police to build confidence and take action against those who did not reach the village on time.

She met the families of the victims and announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for rebuilding burnt homes. She also promised jobs to the victims’ families and ensured justice.

Despite all this, the biggest question is whether her strategy will work out?

Anarul Hussain, local TMC block president was arrested on Thursday after the order of Banerjee.

Minutes before the arrest, News18 spoke exclusively to the TMC leader who denied all allegations. He stated that it was a conspiracy against him. He said had the police been more active, the carnage would have not taken place. However, his sister, Sabina Bibi, alleged that Anarul was behind the violence. “He used to control the police. He never allowed us to lodge a complaint,” she added.

Meanwhile, Tridip Pramanik, Inspector of Police, presently posted as Inspector in Charge, Rampurhar PS, Birbhum district has been suspended with immediate effect for his gross misconduct and dereliction of duty unbecoming of a member of a disciplined Police force, said Additional DGP Law and Order, West Bengal.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairperson Justice Arun Mishra has taken suo motu cognizance of the killings in the Birbhum district and investigations would be carried out in the matter.

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