Indian-Americans protest against the post-poll violence in
West Bengal at Times Square in New York on Monday. (Twitter)
By Seema Hakhu Kachru :
NON-RESIDENT Indians, including the Bengali diaspora, have staged protests in more than 30 American cities, condemning the post-poll result violence in West Bengal. Several incidents of violence were reported in West Bengal after the announcement of Assembly poll results on May 2. The BJP has alleged that its several workers were killed and many were injured by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the aftermath of the elections. TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led the party to a massive victory in the State Assembly polls last week. Protesters carried placards reading “Hindu Lives Matter”, “Protest Against Hindu Genocide” to draw attention to the killings that followed soon after the poll results. Judhajit Senmazumdar, a technology entrepreneur from Silicon Valley who frequently travels to Bengal, said, the anguish felt by the diaspora was palpable.
“After the results were announced, my friends and I got frantic calls for help from people facing targeted attacks; shops were being looted and bombs were being thrown inside houses,” he said. The anguish coalesced into a spontaneous protest in the major cities of the US, the UK and many other locations. “The systematic annihilation of BJP workers and supporters in Bengal under the patronage of the West Bengal administration has the Bengali diaspora up in arms against Mamata Banerjee. Widespread protests across US, Canada, UK, Nigeria, Thailand, etc demanding #MamataStopViolence,” BJP’s West Bengal in-charge Amit Malviya tweeted on Sunday.
The protesters demanded “justice and a probe” into the widespread violence in West Bengal. “My mind recoils at the manner in which Hindu women have been dragged by the hair, flung on the floor, battered and raped,” said Houston-based author Sahana Singh. “I grew up in Kolkata and soaked in the culture of the Divine Feminine. So, I cannot fathom how a State with a woman at the helm of affairs can sanction such cruelty and vendetta against women simply due to differences of political opinion,” Singh said. The BJP has blamed the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for the violence, saying its workers and sympathisers targeted the rivals.