Kurmi protesters attacked the convoy of Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in West Midnapore district on Friday. His convoy was passing through the tribal-dominated Salboni village when it was attacked by protesters, news agency IANS reported. Kurmis in West Bengal have been demanding ST status for the community and have staged protests in the state.
West Bengal minister Birbaha Hansda’s vehicle’s rear windshield was completely shattered by bricks hurled at the convoy by agitating Kurmi protesters. They also raised slogans of ‘chor, chor’ when the convoy was passing through the area.
“I personally am from a tribal background. This is not a way of protest. We have been part of many agitations before. This is simple hooliganism. I will see this till the end,” Hansda was quoted as saying by the news agency. ,
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The minister also accused Kurmi protesters of thrashing Trinamool Congress workers who were part of the convoy.
Hansda also targeted the opposition parties BJP and CPI(M) for instigating the Kurmi protesters to attack.
“The Trinamool Congress never opposed the movement of the Kurmi community demanding Scheduled Tribe status. Then why was our convoy attacked. This cannot be the nature of any caste movement,” he said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to address a political rally in Salboni area on Saturday, 27 May.
Last month, several organizations of the Kurmi community protested and blocked railway tracks and roads for over three days demanding the inclusion of the Kurmi community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list.