New Delhi: At least 14 BJP workers from West Bengal have lost their lives allegedly at the hands of Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers in the state in the last nine months, starting from January till 11 September this year.

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

The Bengal unit of the BJP fears that more lives could be lost in the coming months as the state goes into election mode. The 2021 Assembly elections for Bengal are likely to be a tough battle fought between Mamata Banerjee’s TMC and the BJP.

As per The Sunday Guardian’s analysis and going by BJP’s claims that the newspaper was able to substantiate through media reports, at least 14 BJP functionaries and workers have died violent deaths across the state since January this year. The BJP has claimed that all these deaths were caused by TMC workers.

In September alone, at least two BJP workers from Bengal were killed and one, BJP’s Mahila Morcha leader from Bengal’s Bishnupur, was seriously injured after she was shot at multiple times allegedly by TMC goons. The Mahila Morcha leader, Radharani Naskar, who was shot at earlier this week, is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kolkata. The BJP has claimed that she was shot at outside her residence in Raghudebpur village by TMC men.

Even last Sunday, 13 September, a BJP worker, Ganesh Roy’s body was found hanging from a tree near his house. Roy was a BJP worker from the Hooghly district and his family said that he was killed by goons sheltered by the ruling TMC and was later hung from the tree. His family also claimed that Roy was missing since Saturday and later on Sunday morning his body was found hanging.

The other two BJP workers who lost their lives earlier this month include Rabin Paul, a BJP worker from Bengal’s Kalna in Burdwan district. According to reports and allegations by the BJP, Rabin Paul was lynched to death by more than 50 TMC workers in his village in Pathar Ghata. The incident happened on 7 September and in his dying testimony, Paul named TMC goons who lynched him in front of his wife and daughter.

Anup Roy, another BJP worker, lost his life on 3 September while he was in police custody. The BJP claims that Roy was beaten to death by the police in collusion with local TMC workers and leaders since Roy was a BJP worker. Roy, 24, belonged to Raiganj in North Dinajpur district.

However, the local police in Bengal in a statement said that Roy was called for questioning in a local case, but he collapsed and died soon after reaching the police station.

Even in August, at least two BJP workers lost their lives allegedly at the hands of TMC workers. On 15 August, during a flag hoisting ceremony in Hooghly district’s Arambagh, a BJP worker, Sudarshan Paramanik was attacked and stabbed to death. The BJP claims that Paramanik was attacked by local TMC goons for hoisting the national flag in the area.

Paramanik was attacked with sharp weapons and succumbed to his injuries soon after. This was followed by widespread protests by the Bengal unit of the BJP.

In another incident in August, a 55-year-old BJP leader, Sheikh Liaquat was killed in a violent clash between the BJP and TMC in Egra-Medinipur district. The clash left more than 20 people injured.

Family members of the injured claimed that the TMC had attacked the BJP workers with sticks and iron rods, while the latter were making an effort to build a new party office in the area.

In July, four incidents were reported where at least four BJP workers were killed.

On 16 July, BJP’s Bapi Ghosh was killed allegedly by TMC workers in Nadia district’s Krishnanagar area, while another BJP worker was found dead under suspicious circumstances on 31 July in the South 24 parganas district. This incident happened at the Ghora Mara area of the South 24 Parganas district where this BJP worker, as claimed by the party, was killed and later hanged by local TMC goons. According to the BJP, this particular person had helped the party grow in the area and the TMC eliminated him to stunt the growth of the BJP.

The same month also saw the reported death of a BJP MLA from Hemtabad, Debendranath Roy, who was found hanging near his house. The BJP claims that Roy was killed by TMC goons. The BJP has been demanding a CBI inquiry into this incident. However, the West Bengal police and the CID are currently investigating the death of this MLA and have said that prima facie it was a suicide.

Another BJP booth president’s sister was raped and killed in the Chopraganj area in North Dinajpur. She was just 16 years old and the BJP claims that it was done by the TMC goons just because her brother was a member of the BJP.

On 28 June, the BJP’s district secretary of East Midnapore, Pabitra Das, was shot at. He survived, but was grievously injured. Das alleged that he was shot at by the TMC leader from East Midnapore to take revenge against the growth of the BJP. Das also said that the TMC wanted to stop the BJP just ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections in the state which was why the party was baying for the blood of BJP workers.

In April this year, two BJP workers, one of whom was a BJP woman candidate for the panchayat elections held in the state in 2018, were killed. The husband-wife duo, Shakuntala Haldar and Chandra Haldar, was murdered allegedly by TMC goons in the Kultali area.

While Shakuntala Haldar was found dead in her home, Chandra Haldar was found hanging from a mango tree near the house. The BJP alleged that both were murdered by TMC goons.

The BJP also claims that more than 100 of their workers have lost their lives in Bengal over the last six years. Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently paid homage to the BJP workers who had lost their lives in political violence in Bengal.

Sayantan Basu, General Secretary, Bengal BJP, told The Sunday Guardian that Mamata Banerjee was resorting to violence to cripple the Opposition in Bengal.

“Not just 14, we have lost hundreds of our workers in the last five years. These are all political murders done by goons who are being sheltered by the ruling TMC in Bengal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the Home Minister of Bengal, is turning a blind eye because these are being done by her own party cadre. We fear that the TMC will unleash more violence ahead of the 2021 elections in Bengal as she is afraid of losing power,” he said.

Last year, BJP national president J.P. Nadda performed tarpan (a religious ceremony for the well-being of the departed souls) on the occasion of Mahalaya for all the BJP workers who lost their lives in Bengal.