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10 Jul 2017

Ransack & blockade mark BJP shutdown

The house of Trinamul leader Baneswar Singha after the vandalism at Chandragach in Chopra. Two-wheelers set aflame are strewn in front of the residence 
TT, Raiganj, July 9: Buses and trucks were ransacked and road blockades were raised as the BJP observed a dawn-to-dusk shutdown across North Dinajpur district today to protest the murder of a party worker near Chopra.
Haren Singha, 35, the secretary of the Chopra block BJP committee, died after being hit by a bullet while he was attending a march organised by the party at Chandragach in Chopra yesterday. Pankaj Ghosh, another BJP supporter, suffered serious injuries and is under treatment at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri.
The BJP alleged that a group of Trinamul workers had lobbed bombs and fired at the march.
Around 8pm today, BJP supporters reached Kachakali near Chandragach with the body of Singha and started a demonstration demanding immediate arrest of the attackers. The agitators hurled bricks at the law enforcers. There are unconfirmed reports that the police fired a few rounds in air to disperse the mob.
The BJP supporters then went to the local Trinamul office and tried to ransack it.
The police were attacked there also. 
Earlier in the day, the bandh enforcers hit streets on motorcycles and allegedly vandalised two government buses at Kasba More, Raiganj. Three trucks were also ransacked on NH34 that skirts the Raiganj town by alleged BJP cadres.
Traders who opened their shops were forced to down shutters at several places across the district.
The BJP staged road blockades at Islampur and Hemtabad where police reached and brought the situation under control.
"People have heeded our call for strike," Nirmal Dam, the North Dinajpur district BJP president, said.
A group of suspected BJP supporters ransacked and torched the house of Baneswar Singha, the Trinamul pradhan of Majhiali panchayat, near Chopra last night. Two-wheelers parked in front of the residence were burnt down. The arson and the ransack happened at the same spot where the BJP march was attacked.
"The BJP is behind the attack on Baneswar's home. Throughout today, they were threatening people and vandalising vehicles in the name of strike. The BJP is playing politics and people of the district will not listen to the party," Amal Acharya, the North Dinajpur district Trinamul president, said.
The Bengal president of the BJP, Dilip Ghosh, said a delegation would visit Chopra tomorrow to know the ground situation.
"It was a one-sided attack by Trinamul on our vistarak sabha in Chopra. Three BJP workers were hit with bullets. Haren Singha died on the spot, while another victim is under treatment. Despite naming the attackers in the FIR, police have not arrested a single person yet," he said in Calcutta today.
"A three-member delegation led by BJP general secretary Pratap Banerjee will visit Chopra tomorrow. Manoj Tigga, the BJP MLA from Birpara, will also be part of the team."
Amit Kumar Bharat Rathod, the superintendent of police of North Dinajpur, said 35 bandh supporters had been arrested at different places today. "We have deployed additional police personnel at Chopra to prevent further tension. In total, 35 people have been arrested for trying to enforce bandh," he said.

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