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Featured Image: A video grab shows BJP state president trying to resist an assault on him. 

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 5 October: A BJP delegation led by state president Dilip Ghosh, which is on a tour of the Hills, has been beaten up publicly by some youths in Darjeeling town this afternoon.

The youths assaulted the BJP team with long umbrellas and the sticks of black flags that they were carrying; Ghosh was shoved off.

Some of the youths even served blows and kicks on the BJP leaders accompanying Ghosh and this made them stumble on the road. The assault went on even after this.

The situation took such a turn that Ghosh and other members of the delegation hurried to Darjeeling Sadar police station and took refuge there. There Ghosh lodged an FIR against the unnamed assaulters.

Trouble began around 3 in the afternoon as the BJP president was preparing to address a party meeting at Gorkha Dukh Niwarak Sammelan (GDNS) Hall near Chowk Bazar in Darjeeling town.

There were about 25-odd local BJP activists on the stage with the state delegation, while at the front row of the audience arena there were 15-20 youths holding black flags in hand.

As Ghosh was about to start his speech, the youths began waving black flags to him and started shouting “BJP go black slogans.” BJP activists on the stage countered this with slogans like “Dilip Ghosh zinadab,” “Bimal Gurung zindabad”, “Gorkhaland zindabad,’ etc.

With this continuing for about 10 minutes, Ghosh reacted by calling the youths Mamata Banerjee’s henchmen and this aggravated the situation. The youths jumped onto the dais and a commotion ensued with the BJP activists.

BJP team assault Darjeeling
A member of the BJP delegation stumbles on the road in Darjeeling after being kicked off.

Finding the situation worsening, Ghosh and other leaders of the delegation left the venue cancelling the meeting. But as soon as they stepped out, some women and youths surrounded them and asked them to leave the Hills at once.

Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma and several GJM cadres were waiting on the road below to enter GDNS Hall so to hear Ghosh’s speech. But they could not climb the stairs as that was blocked by anti-BJP group and sensing trouble, they left the place in a hurry.

As the BJP delegation tried to walk away, some youths began assaulting them ~ first with umbrellas and flag sticks and then by serving blows and kicks. This continued all the way for about 15 minutes as the BJP team hurried towards Sadar police station.

All this while, not a single policeman could be spotted. The BJP team finally managed to take refuge at Sadar police station. Shoes were thrown at Ghosh as he was entering the police station.

After lodging an FIR, Ghosh told reporters that the assaulters were drunk and they had been sent to create trouble at the BJP meeting. He did not name anyone, but it may be recalled that Binay Tamang, the chairman of GTA’s Board of Administrators, had on 2 October hinted that the BJP team could face public outrage.

Ghosh and his delegation, which were scheduled to travel to Sikkim this evening, have called off the plan. He told reporters that the delegation will not get cowered by what has happened today and will stay put in the Hills as per the original schedule.

On the first day of their Hills visit yesterday, the BJP delegation was shown black flags at Kalimpong and was greeted with “go back” slogans.

Angry over the assault on their team in Darjeeling, BJP took out a rally at Central Avenue in Kolkata in the evening. A state unit member said that since Ghosh is an MLA, two state police personnel are assigned for his security, but he relieves them while travelling out of Kolkata.