After the body of a 52-year-old BJP worker was found hanging from a tree in Ghoramara area of South 24 Parganas district on Thursday, his family alleged that he was killed by local Trinamool Congress leaders. Police, on the other hand, said that they have found a handwritten “suicide note” from Goutam Patra’s body and claimed that the local BJP worker was subjected to public ridicule over allegations of doing “unnatural activities” with a cow recently.
Patra’s family in a complaint lodged at Sagar Police Station has named 11 local Trinamool leaders and 10 others for the “murder”.
“My father was very vocal against Trinamool leaders indulging in corruption in cyclone Amphan relief distribution. He had organised agitations here. Since then, TMC leaders were trying to kill my father,” Patra’s son Soumitra said.
According to him, Patra was summoned by local TMC leader Amalendu Guria to his house on Wednesday evening.
“They had also called another local BJP leader Lalmohan Halder to Guria’s house. After 10 pm, they kicked out Halder from the house. After that, we did not get any news of father. Today morning his body was found hanging from a tree just 500 metres from our house. We are sure that my father was killed and then hanged,” said Soumitra.
Superintendent of Police (Sundarban) Baibhav Tiwary, in a statement said, that they have registered a case of unnatural death. “We have received information that the said deceased person has been accused of doing unnatural physical activities with a cow in the village last week over which he was being subjected to public ridicule. Yesterday (Wednesday), there was a Salishi Sabha (kangaroo court) in the village and the matter was discussed. No final decision was taken. Today morning, his body was recovered in a hanging position from his house. A handwritten note has been received from his pocket where it is written that he accepts his sins and no one is responsible for his death,” the SP said.
“The body has been sent for a post-mortem. We are investigating the matter, including the handwritten note,” he added.
This is the third such incident in the state in the last fortnight. On Wednesday, the body of a BJP worker, Purnachandra Das, was found hanging in Ramnagar area of East Midnapore district. Before that, Hemtabad MLA Debendra Nath Roy, who had joined BJP last year, was found dead. His body was also found hanging in front of a tea shop.
The BJP accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of “political killings” and demanded immediate arrest of the accused. “Once again, Trinamool Congress has killed a BJP worker. The Trinamool Congress is repeatedly killing BJP workers and trying to stage it as a suicide. We strongly condemn this and demand strict punishment for the culprits,” BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said.
Sinha also asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to “ensure the arrest of the murderers”.
The ruling Trinamool Congress, however, has denied all the charges levelled by the BJP, calling it “completely baseless and politically motivated”.
“Goutam Patra may have committed suicide due to family problems. We should wait for the police investigation, which shall bring out the truth,” a local Trinamool Congress leader said.
Meanwhile, BJP alleged that TMC workers beat up their party cadres in Khejuri area of East Midnapore and Arambagh in Hooghly district. “TMC goons attacked our leaders and workers in Khejuri, leaving six BJP workers injured. In Arambagh, one BJP worker was injured after he was attacked by TMC cadres,” BJP leader Rahul Sinha said.
The TMC denied the allegation that their party workers were involved in the incident, and blamed it on the “infighting” in the local BJP units.
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