West Bengal Assembly polls | Death of elderly woman after assault sparks row in Bengal

BJP has blamed the Trinamool Congress cadre for the attack last month on the 82-year-old.

Politics erupted over the death of an 82-year-old woman in the Nimta area of West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, with the BJP leadership alleging that assault by Trinamool Congress supporters resulted in her death.

The woman, Shova Majumdar, was assaulted last month allegedly by Trinamool Congress supporters and admitted to hospital a few days ago. On February 27, Ms. Majumdar and her son, Gopal, were assaulted in the North Dumdum area, under the Nimta police station jurisdiction. Photographs of the elderly woman with injuries on her face had led to a furore on social media.

Mr. Majumdar had said his mother was assaulted by Trinamool Congress goons but refused to identify those behind the attack.

Following her death, BJP workers staged a protest in front of the Nimta police station and burnt tyres on M.B. Road.

Shah tweets

Through the day, senior BJP leaders including Union Home Minister Amit Shah raised the issue of the woman’s death and targeted the Trinamool Congress over the incident.

“Anguished over the demise of Bengal’s daughter Shova Majumdar ji, who was brutally beaten by TMC goons,” Mr Shah tweeted.

“The pain & wounds of her family will haunt Mamata didi for long. Bengal will fight for a violence-free tomorrow, Bengal will fight for a safer State for our sisters & mothers,” he added.

BJP president J.P. Nadda also took to social media and said “her sacrifice will be remembered forever. She was also mother of Bengal, daughter of Bengal. The BJP always fights for security of mothers and daughters”.

Local BJP candidate from North Dumdum Archana Majumdar also visited the family of the deceased woman and demanded the arrest of those responsible for the attack. The BJP has threatened to launch sustained protest if those behind the attack are not arrested in next 72 hours.

Adding to the controversy, the death certificate of Ms. Majumdar was signed by BJP candidate Archana Majumdar, who is also a medical practitioner.

TMC counter

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee responded to the incident, and the BJP’s allegations, by saying that any death is unfortunate. However, she added that while the Home Minister is pointing at incidents in West Bengal, he has “put a leucoplast [band aid] when incidents happen in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras”.

Senior Trinamool Congress leaders also questioned the narrative spread by the BJP about the death.

“The death of Shova Majumdar is a tragedy. What is totally unfortunate though is the Home Min peddling a narrative when the incident is under investigation. He heads a Police Force & multiple Central Agencies. Shouldn’t he show some respect to the investigative process of India!” TMC leader and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien said on social media.

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