A 54-year-old BJP worker was found hanging from a tree near his home in Khanati village in Hooghly district’s Goghat area on Sunday morning.
The party claimed that the deceased, identified as Ganesh Rai, was murdered, and accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of targeting its workers. In response, a ruling party leader said BJP workers were killing themselves because of “depression” caused by their party’s anti-people policies.
“Yesterday [Saturday] evening he went out and didn’t return. Today morning some local people saw him hanging from a tree. His legs were clearly touching the ground. He was murdered and then hanged. We want detailed investigation,” said one of Rai’s family members, who did not wish to be named.
After the police received reports about Rai’s body hanging from the tree, they went to the spot and sent it for autopsy.
“At 6.30 am, some people informed the local police station about the incident. Police reached the spot and took down the body. No injury mark was seen on his body, we could spot a ligature mark on his neck. He used to work as a labourer for farmers on their fields and was a habitual drinker. The cause of death could only be ascertained after the post-mortem. We have sent the body to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital. Investigation has been initiated and an unnatural death case has been registered,” said Arambagh Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Nirmal Kumar Das.
According to sources, Rai was an active BJP worker in Booth 176 of Zilla Parishad 46. This is the second such killing in the area in as many months. Last month, BJP worker Kashinath Ghosh’s body was recovered from a canal in Goghat. Ghosh was accused of being involved in the murder of TMC worker Lalchand Bagh. BJP had alleged that the TMC was behind Ghosh’s murder.
“Democracy murdered, again! These political killings must stop. Those who scream ‘death of democracy’ at every instance are silent on the unabated killings of BJP workers under home minister Mamata Banerjee’s watch,” tweeted the Opposition party.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh also accused the ruling party of the murder, and said, “He was murdered and then hanged from a tree. Such incidents are happening everyday in Bengal. Earlier, CPM used to kill people and bury them and now TMC has changed the style and are hanging them from trees. We will launch a strong resistance. Such murders are a fallout of fear in the TMC over the growing support for the BJP.”
In response, TMC leader and state minister Firhad Hakim said, “Those who are in BJP suffer from depression. Sooner or later they feel guilty about being a part of the party that is so anti-people. Due to such depression this kind of incidents are taking place. Though every death is disheartening, it is bad to politicise deaths.”
After Rai’s body was found, BJP workers blocked the Goghat-Arambagh road in protest. They were later dispersed by the police. The BJP state unit also held protests in Kolkata in areas such as Jadavpur and Baghajatin, demanding justice for Rai.
“The BJP is trying to play their dirty politics using this incident. Shame on BJP,” said TMC Hooghly president Dilip Yadav.
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