Black flags shown, stones hurled at Bengal BJP chief's convoy, saffron party condemns attack

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Jaigaon/Kolkata, Nov 12 (PTI) Stones were hurled and black flags shown at BJP state president Dilip Ghosh's convoy at Jaigaon area in Alipurduar district on Thursday, where he had gone to attend party programmes, police said.

Several Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists were seen raising slogans against Ghosh, asking him to leave.

Ghosh's vehicle was partially damaged in the attack, sources in the BJP said.

A team of police officers, however, brought the situation under control, after forcing the protesters and the saffron camp supporters to disperse.

Ghosh later told reporters, 'The TMC and their friends are getting desperate as they can sense defeat in the upcoming assembly polls. However such tactics won't work. People are with us.' He also claimed that the incident goes on to show that law and order has collapsed in Bengal.

'After a Chai Pe Charcha' session, we were on our way to another programme, when our convoy was pelted with stones.

Black flags were shown. Such attacks by the ruling party and its allies prove that law and order has collapsed in the state. In a democracy such things cannot happen,' he said.

District TMC chief Sourav Chakraborty, however, said Ghosh was trying to foment trouble in north Bengal, and none of his party activists was involved in the incident.

Protesting the treatment meted out to Ghosh in north Bengal, activists of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha took out rallies in several parts of the state, later in the day.

They blocked the arterial Central Avenue near state party office headquarters here in protest against the attack on Ghosh's convoy.

The activists, led by state BJYM president Soumitra Khan, also burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the 90-minute blockade.

'We haven't launched an intense movement as the festive season is on. However, if such attacks on our party men continue and no action is taken, we will hit the streets again,' Khan said.

Similar agitations were witnessed in Salkia, Belur in Howrah, Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur, Suri in Birbhum and other parts of the state.

Condeming the attack on Ghosh's convoy, senior saffron party leader Mukul Roy said the people of the state would give a giving a 'befitting reply' to TMC's 'tyranny'.

'I strongly condemn the attack on Shri @DilipGhoshBJP, President of @BJP4Bengal, at Alipurduar by miscreants. The people of the state would give a befitting reply to the anarchic state govt. @BJP4Bengal would fight till the end to uproot this tyrannical rule of TMC,' he tweeted.

Rejecting the allegations, West Bengal Municipal Affairs and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim told reporters that the 'TMC doesn't believe in carrying out such attacks. We believe in democratic movements'.

The GJM, led by Bimal Gurung, recently joined hands with the TMC, while the Binay Tamang faction of the Gorkha outfit has always been an ally of the ruling party. PTI SUS RMS RMS