At least 23 BJP workers have died violent deaths across Bengal since October 2018.

 

NEW DELHI: Almost two Bharatiya Janata Party functionaries have lost their lives every month, allegedly at the hands of Trinamool Congress (TMC) cadre in West Bengal, in the 12-month period starting from 1 October 2018 till the end of this week (10 October).

The Sunday Guardian went through media reports, published across multiple mediums including newspapers, news websites, news channels in the last one year, that have reports in which the West Bengal BJP has claimed that the individual who died was its worker.

As per The Sunday Guardian’s analysis, going by BJP’s claim that the newspaper was able to substantiate through media reports, at least 23 BJP functionaries and workers have died violent deaths across West Bengal since October last year. All of these deaths, the BJP has claimed, have been at the hands of TMC workers.

During the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May this year, the party had invited family members of BJP workers, who, it claimed, were killed by TMC functionaries in the last two years. Family members of 32 BJP workers had attended the oath-taking ceremony.

On 28 September, BJP working president J.P. Nadda performed a “mass tarpan” at Bagbazar Ghat, Kolkata, for 82 party workers who lost their lives in political violence in West Bengal in the last few years. “Tarpan” is a ritual in which water is offered to ancestors with prayers for peace to the departed souls.

Early this week, on Tuesday, an RSS worker, Bondhu Gopal Pal, 35, along with his pregnant wife and their eight-year-old son, were found murdered in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district. The BJP has claimed that this was a political killing. As per The Sunday Guardian’s investigation, this was the 23rd killing of a worker related to BJP or its allied organisation since October 2018.

 

The chronology

On 22 October 2018, the body of BJP worker Tapas Bagdi, 33, was found hanging from a tree in Dwaraka village of Birbhum district. The BJP had claimed that he was killed by TMC cadre.

On 9 December 2018, Sandip Ghosh was shot dead in Malandighi Anchal under Kanksha block of West Bengal’s Durgapur.

Twenty-eight-year-old Patanu Mondal, brother of Utpal Mondal, who is BJP leader of the gram panchayat, was shot dead on 28 March 2019 in Daulatpur in Malda district.

On 18 April 2019, 22-year-old Shishu Pal Shahish, who was the son of a BJP member of the local gram panchayat and was associated with the BJP Youth Wing, was killed in Purulia district.

A BJP activist Ramin Singh, 30, who was a resident of Gopiballavpur, Jhargram constituency, was killed, allegedly by the TMC cadre on 12 May.

Similarly, a 23-year-old BJP worker, Santu Ghosh, was shot dead in Chakdaha town of Nadia district on 25 May.

BJP worker Chandan Shaw was killed on 26 May in Bhatapara of North 24 Parganas district.

Sushil Mondal, a BJP supporter, was killed on 30 May in Pandugram, Burdwan.

On 2 June, Ajay Mondol, a 36-year-old man, said to be a BJP worker, was stabbed to death in Baduria in North 24 Parganas district.

The BJP claims that it lost three of its men, Sukanta Mondal, Pradip Mondal and Shankar Mondal who were killed by the TMC cadre in the Nazat area of North 24 Parganas on 8 June.

On 9 June, RSS veteran Swadesh Manna was found hanging from a tree in Howrah which the BJP had said was a crime that was carried out by the TMC cadre.

A day later, 43-year-old Samatul Doloi, who was a resident of Sarpota village, Amta Police Station, Howrah, too, was killed, allegedly by TMC cadre.

The body of 47-year-old Ashish Singh was found on 12 June in Badhapukur, Malda. The BJP said that he was killed by the TMC cadre.

Two days later, Saraswati Das, another BJP worker, was shot dead in Basirhat. North 24 Parganas on 14 June.

On 18 June, as per the BJP’s claim, it lost another of its workers, at the hands of the TMC cadre—30-year-old Ananda Paul, who was a resident of Velakpora in Tufanganj. His body was recovered from the Kanthal Tala area of West Bengal’s Cooch Behar.

Gopal Chandra Pal, a BJP worker in Bishnupur, Bankura, was murdered allegedly by TMC workers on 22 June.

As per BJP leaders, one of their workers, 28-year-old Krishna Debnath, died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, two days after he was brutally beaten by a group of TMC cadre on 7 July in Swarupganj village in Nabadwip bloc in Nadia district of West Bengal.

Kashinath Ghosh, 45, a booth president of BJP was allegedly murdered on 28 July in Arambagh town of Hooghly district in West Bengal.

On 18 August, Dalu Sheikh, a 50-year-old BJP worker died after the TMC cadre, as alleged by the BJP, hurled crude bombs at him in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.

Swarup Gorai, 55, was allegedly shot by the TMC cadre in the Nanoor area of Birbhum district in West Bengal on 7 September.