The death of a 24-year-old BJP worker in Uttar Dinajpur district’s Raiganj area during police interrogation triggered a war of words between the Opposition party and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday. The BJP accused the police of assaulting Anup Roy, causing a cerebral attack, in a station on Wednesday.
According to sources in the police, Roy fell unconscious while being questioned in the station in connection with a robbery on August 28. He was then taken to Raiganj Medical College and Hospital, but was declared dead.
“I was at home when Anup’s mother called me to know where Anup was. His mother told me that he went out with a few men. We haven’t been able to see the body,” said Barun Mullick, who is a member of Roy’s family.
The police said officials from the Raiganj station had arrested four people in connection with the robbery. During interrogation, the accused allegedly revealed that Roy had provided them weapons.
Denying the allegations of custodial death, Uttar Dinajpur SP Sumit Kumar told The Indian Express, “When the police went to bring him to the police station, he tried to run away. However, he was brought to the police station. Soon, while he was being questioned, he fell unconscious. People present at the station initially thought he was pretending to be ill. But when he didn’t get up, he was rushed to the hospital. He had no injury on his body. Doctors declared him dead. Post-mortem has been done and the report says he died of brain haemorrhage. We have CCTV cameras that can be checked. He could have died due to palpitation. There can be many reasons for brain haemorrhage. He was into drugs and all.”
The police claimed Roy was a local “rowdy”, and an active BJP member.
But state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “What I am hearing is that the police picked up Anup Roy and he was beaten up so badly that one of his kidneys was destroyed. They shot him too as a bullet was found close by. The police did not inform the family about Roy’s death.”
Local BJP leaders also demanded a second autopsy and a CBI inquiry. Roy and his family are former Left Front supporters. The 24-year-old had joined the BJP about seven months ago.
Dismissing the Opposition party’s allegations, a local TMC leader said, “BJP smells conspiracy in every death that happens in Bengal, while they forget when so many encounters take place in UP. So many suicides have been claimed as murder in the past. BJP tries to find an opportunity in every death.”
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