Section 144 in Bengal town after TMC, BJP workers clash

BJP, TMC supporters clash outside Bongaon municipality office over a trust vote to the civic body, on Tuesday.

Prohibitive orders under Section 144 of CrPC were imposed and RAF and police personnel deployed in Bongaon area of North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal on Tuesday following clashes between supporters of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP over a trust vote for control of the municipality.

There were reports of bombs being thrown in front of Bangaon municipality office, with either side blaming the other for the bombs and the violence. There were no reports of any injury or arrest until late evening.

Trouble began after the TMC, acting on an order of Calcutta High Court, brought a confidence motion in Bongaon Municipality to prove its majority, after 12 of its councillors had defected to BJP earlier this month.

While the TMC claimed to have won the trust vote in the 22-member civic body 10-9, the BJP alleged that police had prevented two of its councillors from taking part in the voting process. BJP members said despite the court giving protection to its councillors from arrest, the police barred two party councillors from enetering the building to vote.

The police said the BJP councillors concerned Mondal and Kartik Mondal claimed that they had secured anticipatory bail in a case of abduction lodged by a TMC woman councillor but were unable to produce original copy of the anticipatory order when asked for it, PTI reported. The two produced photos of the purported court order on their phones and were thus disallowed from entering the municipality office, the police said.

This led to the clash.

After TMC councillors left, 11 BJP councillors claimed that they brought a no-confidence motion against the TMC chairman and won. We held the no-confidence motion as per court order. We have signatures of 11 councillors in our resolution. TMC councillors have staged a walkout, so we have got hold of the civic body. We will move the High Court against TMC s trust vote resolution, BJP councillor Himadri Mondal said.

But board chairman Auddy, of the TMC, said: BJP councillors did not turn up for the trust vote. What can we do? They are saying they were prevented by police from entering the civic body. This is not our lookout. The administration will work as per law.