Kurmi Tribe Protest: Attack on Abhishek Banerjee’s convoy, West Bengal minister Birbaha Hansda’s car windshield broken

TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee: The vehicle of West Bengal minister Birbaha Hansda was attacked in Paschim Medinipur district on Friday (May 26). Members of the Kurmi community allegedly pelted stones at the convoy of Trinamool Congress (TMC) general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, which also included the minister’s car, police officials said.

The incident took place in Salboni where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is going to attend a party program on Saturday (May 27). A party leader told that Abhishek Banerjee, who has ‘Z plus’ security, held a roadshow in Binpur and Gopiballavpur of Jhargram as part of his Trinamool Nabo Jwar (New Wave in Trinamool) campaign.

‘The glass of the minister’s car was broken’

He told that when he was passing through Salboni after the rally, members of the Kurmi community protesting for the demand of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status gathered on both sides of the road. They said, "As their car proceeded, they allegedly started pelting stones at the roadshow. Hansda’s vehicle included in the convoy was also damaged in the attack."

‘police force sent’

Officials said that a large number of police forces have been sent to the spot to control the situation. It could not be immediately known whether anyone has been arrested in this connection. Condemning the incident, Hansda said that violence can never be a form of democratic protest. They said, "It can never be a fight for the rights of any community. Those who threw stones are all outsiders, and are claiming to be members of a particular community to justify the violence."

Members of the Kurmi community had met Abhishek Banerjee in Bankura on Tuesday and urged him to look into their demand for Scheduled Tribe status. The TMC MP from Diamond Harbor heard them patiently and said that it was appropriate to hold a democratic protest for their demands.

The house of BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh in Kharagpur in West Medinipur was vandalized last week allegedly by members of a Kurmi organization over his comments against the community. The Kurmi community is currently classified as an OBC. The community protested for several days in April demanding ST status in various districts of the state, including Dakshin Dinajpur, Purulia, Jhargram and Paschim Medinipur.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said that the TMC leadership should introspect as to why such protests are taking place in the state. He alleged that there is anger among the people on many issues. They said, "It is unfortunate that despite heavy security arrangements, such protests are taking place."

Read also: Karnataka Cabinet Expansion: 24 leaders will become ministers in Karnataka, high command approves, know who are included?

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