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Birbhum Violence: What Happened and How It's Becoming a TMC Vs BJP Issue Now

What is the current situation on ground?

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West Bengal’s Birbhum district has been simmering with tensions since the beginning of this week.

The murder of Bhadu Sheikh, a local TMC panchayat leader in Bogtui village, sparked violence from the night of 21 March, with several houses being set ablaze. At least eight lives were lost in the arson incident, while three people including a minor have been hospitalised.

On 22 March, 11 people have been arrested as charred bodies were recovered from two houses. Fearing repercussions of this violence, many people from this village are now starting to pack up and leave.

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While some reports have alleged that this incident of violence is an intra-TMC feud, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that there is a larger conspiracy to defame the state.

But this incident is fast turning into a BJP vs TMC issue, with not just leaders like Suvendu Adhikari or Dilip Ghosh criticising the law and order of the state, but Prime Minister Narendra himself also acknowledging this incident.

Addressing a virtual event at Kolkata's Victoria Memorial, PM Modi urged the people of Bengal to never forgive perpetrators of Birbhum violence. Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah has also sought a report from the West Bengal government in 72 hours.

But which events led to this spell of violence? What is the current situation on ground? In this episode, we’ll hear from family members of the victims. We also have with us freelance journalist Ajoy Mukhopadhyay giving us updates from ground zero and Monideepa Banerjie, a senior independent journalist who talks about what impact can this incident have on the TMC-led government and the state's politics.

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