In 34 days, 16 people from either the BJP or the Trinamool Congress have been ‘killed’ allegedly by the other party.

 

New Delhi: Nearly one political party worker has lost life every two days in Bengal, between 27 February and 1 April 2021. This political violence and “killings” continue in the state despite the Model Code of Conduct being in place with the election to the 294 Assembly seats being declared by the Election Commission on 26 February.

In these 34 days, 16 people belonging from either the BJP or the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), have been “killed” allegedly by their respective Opposition parties.

In total, the BJP have lost 11 of its party workers who have allegedly been killed by the TMC, while the TMC claims to have lost five of its political workers in political violence and alleged that the BJP killed their workers.

The latest was on the day of the second phase of polling on 1 April, when the body of a BJP worker, Uday Dubey, was found hanging at his home in the Nandigram constituency of West Bengal.

Dubey was a BJP worker from Nandigram. The BJP claims that he was “killed” and later “hanged” allegedly by the local TMC workers of Nandigram. His death on the day of the high-profile election contest in Nandigram created huge tension in the area where villagers alleged that Dubey had been under “tremendous pressure” from the local TMC leaders for being involved with the BJP.

Even Dubey’s family members claimed that he was being constantly “threatened” by TMC workers for participating in BJP election work.

Another BJP worker was also allegedly killed on the eve of the second phase of polling in Bengal. On the intervening night of 31 March and 1 April at Purba Mednipur district’s Chandipur Vidhan Sabha, a BJP worker Gurupada Pradhan was allegedly beaten up brutally by TMC workers and he had succumbed to his injuries on the spot, according to BJP functionaries from West Bengal.

The other nine BJP workers who have been allegedly killed by TMC in Bengal over these last 34 days include Amit Sarkar, BJP’s Mondal President from Dinhata in the Cooch Behar district. Sarkar’s body was found hanging at a nearby Veterinary Hospital on 24 March. His death had come just 72 hours before the first phase of polling in Bengal, which was held on 27 March.

The body of Akhil Biswas, a BJP karyakarta from Uttar Dinajpur district, was found hanging from a tree at a nearby forest on 28 March. His family members claimed that he had gone missing since 26 March and despite searching for him in the local vicinity, he was nowhere to be found. However, his “wounded body” was recovered from a tree. The BJP claims that he was “murdered” and later hanged by the TMC goons.

On the wee hours of 27 March, when Bengal was going for the first phase of polls, the body of Mangal Soren was recovered from a nearby field. Soren was a BJP worker from Keshiyari village in Kharagpur Sub division, his family claimed that he was killed by TMC goons. However, the EC said that they did not find any political motive in Soren’s death and an FIR under Section 302 (murder) was registered by the local police.

Just a day earlier on 26 March, a BJP booth secretary from Mednipur Assembly, Lal Mohan Soren’s body was also found hanging from a tree in the nearby forest in Shalboni. The BJP alleged that he was killed by TMC for just being a BJP worker.

Even on 25 March, two bodies of BJP workers were found with injury marks that might have been caused by sharp weapons. Pratap Barman and Dipankar Biswas, both BJP workers, were allegedly attacked and killed with sharp weapons in the Shantipur area of Nadia district. The BJP claimed that it was done by TMC goons.

On 17 March, the BJP claimed that two of their party workers were once again killed in two different places in West Bengal. Vikas Naskar, a BJP booth worker from Sonarpur area of South 24 Parganas and a 24-year-old BJP worker from Illambazar Bapi Naskar were allegedly killed by TMC goons.

On 7 March, a BJP worker Shoban Debnath from South 24 Parganas Gosaba was killed after a bomb went off at his house while he was eating his lunch.

The BJP has claimed that over the last three years, more than 140 BJP workers have allegedly been killed by TMC in Bengal. The senior BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, have also been paying respects to these “martyrs” by felicitating the next of kin of these deceased party workers and sometimes even visiting their homes.

Prime Minister Modi had also invited the family members of these party workers who have been killed in Bengal to his oath taking ceremony in May 2019. BJP national party president, J.P. Nadda had also “mass tarpan” at Bagbazar Ghat, Kolkata, for 82 party workers who lost their lives in political violence in West Bengal till October 2019. “Tarpan” is a ritual in which water is offered to ancestors with prayers for peace to the departed souls.

However, the TMC has also claimed that at least five of their party workers have been killed allegedly by the BJP during the ongoing Assembly polls in the state.

The TMC said that even they lost one of their party workers on the day of the second phase of polling on 1 April. TMC claimed that 48-year-old TMC worker Uttam Dolui from Kehspur in Paschim Mednipur was chased by several BJP workers and was allegedly stabbed to death.

On 25 March, a TMC worker Shraban Choudhury was killed in a bomb blast in Ranigunj’s Beniadhi Village in Paschim Burdwan, and on the same day, another TMC worker Ruhul Amin Middye had succumbed to his injuries after he was brutally injured in a clash between the TMC and Abbas Siddiqui-led ISF workers in South 24 Pargana’s Baruipur area.

Just three days earlier, another TMC worker Durga Soren was alleged killed by BJP workers at the Netura Bus Stand in Jhargram.

Even on 10 March, the TMC claimed to have lost one of their party workers allegedly in the hands of BJP workers. The TMC claimed that one of its workers Masood Anwar from Hooghly was brutally attacked and killed by BJP workers and his body was recovered from a nearby field.

Apart from the political killings, reports of political violence and clashes are being reported every day from across the state. The Election Commission has deployed over 700 companies of paramilitary forces in the state to ensure free and fair elections.