West Bengal: The alleged killings of two BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) workers in West Bengal’s Purulia within a week have triggered another round of verbal war between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and opposition BJP. Union Minister Smriti Z Irani on Saturday slammed the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government over the killing of BJP worker Dulal Kumar. Irani claimed Banerjee has failed to maintain law and order in the state. Speaking to ANI, Union Minister said, “Ruling party in West Bengal is a part of consolidated opposition which’s fighting against PM Modi. As a result, they’re indulging in targeted killings of BJP workers. Govt there has failed to maintain law and order and isn’t able to deliver justice to families of victims.”
While Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar has also criticised the role of state government and said “political murder” has no place in a democracy. The Union Minister alleged the murder of his party workers in Purulia’s Balrampur is political murders.
“It’s a political murder. So far, 19 BJP workers have been killed. The recent killings in West Bengal are inhuman. We condemn this brutal political murder and the murder culture. The people of West Bengal will teach a lesson to those who indulge in such acts. Political murder has no place in a democracy,” Javadekar said to ANI.
Another Union Minister Babul Supriyo demanded imposition of Article 356 in the state. “The only constitutional medicine that Mamata Banerjee and her TMC goons require for their barbaric behaviour is the imposition of President’s rule in West Bengal,” Supriyo told PTI. While senior BJP leader and former BJP state president Rahul Sinha demanded a CBI probe into the two deaths. The party also called a 12-hour bandh to protest the alleged murders of Mahato and Kumar.
In a tweet, BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that Dulal Kumar’s murder was similar to that of Trilochan Mahato, a BJP activist. Vijayvargiya also said that he had called ADG (Law and Order) on Friday night and asked him to save Dulal from being killed as he has been facing life threats. He said that ADG had told him that police will do its best to protect Dulal. In a separate tweet, Vijayvargiya said that despite ADGs response and efforts, Dulal’s body was found hanging. THe BJP leader also wrote a letter to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) saying, “We do not trust state government, police and the CID. We want NHRC do conduct a thorough investigation in the incident.”
In two posts on Twitter, BJP president Amit Shah said, “Distressed to know about yet another killing of BJP karyakarta Dulal Kumar in Balrampur, West Bengal. This continued brutality and violence in the land of West Bengal is shameful and inhuman. Mamata Banerjee’s govt has completely failed to maintain law and order in the state. I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved family. I along with millions of BJP karyakartas share grief of Dulal Kumar’s family. May God give his family the strength to withstand this irreparable loss. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.”
Meanwhile, the situation has put Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government on the back foot. The top leadership of the party has condemned the killings and called for a detailed probe into the incident. In a tweet, party’s spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien said, “We strongly condemn this despicable killing.All angles must be probed.The perpetrators of this heinous act must be punished. What role did Jharkhand border have to play? What elements of Bajrang Dal, Maoist or BJP involved. Let the truth be found out through proper investigation.” Later Brien posted, “As swift as swift can be. Case handed over to CID.” TMC secretary-general and state minister Partha Chatterjee also suspected the role of Bajrang Dal in the deaths.
The state government has ordered a CID (Criminal Investigation Department) probe into the incident. It also removed Purulia’s SP (Superintendent of Police) Joy Biswas with CID Senior Superintendent Akash Magharia. Biswas was removed soon after he called the murder a suicide. Biswas was sent to the State Armed Police.
“He (Kumar) had gone out to attend to nature’s call and did not come back. People had been searching for him since last night, and he was finally found hanging from a high-tension pole in Dabha village. Prima facie it looks like a case of suicide unlike Trilochan Mahato’s case, which was clearly murder. Preliminary investigation has revealed that Mahato’s murder was the fallout of personal enmity. We haven’t found any political angle in that (Mahato’s) case yet. Investigations are on in both cases,” Biswas told The Indian Express.
CID officials said the possible involvement of the people from Jharkhand would also be probed. “As it is a bordering district, there is a possibility of outsiders being involved in the killings of Mahto and Kumar. These killings could be part of a conspiracy,” a senior CID officer told PTI.
On the wee hours of Saturday, the body of Dulal Kumar (32), a BJP worker was found hanging from an electric pole in Purulia’s Balrampur. Kumar was missing since Friday. Kumar’s wife Monika has alleged that her husband had been killed by the Trinamool Congress’ supporters. “He had received threats and has been murdered by TMC goons,” she told IE.
Local BJP workers in Balarampur said Dulal Kumar was among those who were protesting against the alleged murder of Trilochon Mahato. “He took part in a thana gherao programme yesterday (Friday) to protest Trilochan Mahato’s murder. He returned to his house for a while before leaving again in the evening to attend to some personal work. He did not return. Calls made to his mobile number were disconnected,” a BJP worker told The Sunday Express.
Shantiram Mahato, TMC MLA of Balarampur has assured of a proper investigation. TMC legislator has asked the people to wait for the report of the post-mortem examination before coming to any conclusion.
On Friday, BJP workers held protests all across Kolkata demanding a CBI probe into the Mahato’s murder case. A separate protest was also held at Delhi where senior leader including Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari was present. The protest was held outside Banga Bhawan.
In the recently held Panchayat elections, the Trinamool Congress and BJP had a close fight in the Gram Panchayat polls with both winning 839 and 645 seats respectively. Out of the 38 Zilla Parishad seats, BJP had won nine seats and Trinamool Congress 26 seats.