Sporadic post-poll violence continued on Tuesday in West Bengal claiming several lives as chief minister Mamata Banerjee asked officials to act decisively and Prime Minister Narendra Modi rang up Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to express anguish over the law-and-order situation.
Banerjee held a meeting with top government officials on the violence and directed them to quickly address the situation and arrest culprits, a source said.
The violence started after results of the assembly election were declared and the ruling Trinamool Congress came out winning 213 of the 292 assembly seats that went to polls and secured a third straight term in office.
Bharatiya Janata Party president J P Nadda, who arrived on a two-day visit to the state, claimed that 11 people were killed in the last few days by Trinamool Congress 'goons' and he would visit the houses of those killed.
On the other hand, a TMC worker was also stabbed to death in Purba Bardhaman district and the ruling party held the saffron party responsible for the incident.
'PM called and expressed his serious anguish and concern at alarmingly worrisome law & order situation @MamataOfficial. I share grave concerns @PMOIndia given that violence vandalism, arson, loot and killings continue unabated,' Governor Dhankhar tweeted.
'Police @WBPolice @CPKolkata must end senseless political violence, vandalism, arson, killings and intimidation that shames democracy. Why post poll violence only WB? Why this assault on democracy?' the Governor asked.
Mamata Banerjee, who is scheduled to be sworn in as the chief minister of West Bengal for the third time on Wednesday, took stock of the situation at a meeting held at her residence with Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Home Secretary H K Dwidevi, Director General of Police P Nirajnayan and Kolkata Police Commissioner Soumen Mitra.
Banerjee directed them to increase surveillance in areas which were identified as sensitive, an official said.
"The CM is very worried about the situation and directed officers to take necessary steps to restore the law and order at the places from where reports of violence and clashes have come," an official said.
Alleging that the state is in the throes of state-sponsored violence, the BJP claimed that TMC workers entered houses of party activists and assaulted them.
Party officials also claimed a BJP office in Hooghly district was set on fire and shops of its supporters were torched in many areas.
"I have never seen such post-poll violence that is occurring in West Bengal after the declaration of election results (on May 2)," Nadda said.
After visiting the house of a BJP worker who was reportedly attacked at Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas district, Nadda claimed that none of the accused persons have been arrested.
"We want to give this message that crores of BJP workers across the country are with them," he said.
He also exhorted party workers in the state to democratically fight the 'savagery'.
The BJP's state president Dilip Ghosh said that the party is with the workers who, he claimed, are facing atrocities at the hands of TMC goons.
Addressing a virtual press conference in New Delhi, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "Bengal is burning because of state-sponsored violence. Such scenes have never been witnessed in the country's electoral history."
The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday said it has taken suo motu cognisance of videos purportedly showing women being beaten up in West Bengal's Nandigram after assembly elections in the state.
'Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to Director General of Police, West Bengal, to take immediate action and arrest the accused persons without any delay,' the NCW said in a statement.
BJP leader and senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia also moved the Supreme Court seeking Central Bureau of Investigation probe into 'rampant violence' across West Bengal 'before, during and after the assembly elections'.