Bengal: BJP calls 12-hour bandh after party MP Arjun Singh suffers head injuries during clash in Barrackpore

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday called for a 12-hour bandh on Monday in Barrackpore beginning 6 am to protest against the attack on its MP Arjun Singh. Fresh clashes broke out between the supporters of the BJP and Trinamool Congress (TMC) today over control of a party office at Shyamnagar. Singh suffered head injuries after police allegedly indulged in baton charge at Kankinara in West Bengals North 24 Parganas district to lift a road blockade by a group of persons. Singh, wearing a blood-soaked shirt and a bandage on head, claimed that Barrackpore police commissioner Manoj Verma struck him on his head with a baton. The BJP MP alleged that Verma led a police contingent which attacked a peaceful protest by the BJP over the capture of its party office at Shyamnagar. However, a senior police officer claimed that stones were being hurled during a clash between two groups and Singh suffered injuries in the melee. Earlier in the day, Singhs vehicle was vandalised near Shyamnagar railway station, which he claimed was organised by the TMC supporters. Both Shyamnagar and Kankinara fall under the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency. Singh is the MP from this Lok Sabha seat. Several areas in the constituency, including Bhatpara and Kankinara, have been in the grip of violence since Singh won the election. Ahead of the General elections, Singh parted ways with the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and contested on a BJP ticket. Prior to his victory, he was an MLA from TMC. Singh alleged that the ruling TMC was using force to capture BJP offices at various places in Barrackpore constituency, a charge denied by the Trinamool Congress. West Bengal Food and Supplies minister and TMC leader Jyotipriya Mallick asserted that it was the BJP which had forcibly taken over the TMCs party offices in Barrackpore.