Continuing post-poll clashes between BJP and Trinamool Congress reportedly claimed its first life on Friday night, when a 24-year-old man was shot dead in Nadia district. While both the BJP and TMC claimed the deceased, Santu Ghosh, was associated with them, the police are yet to confirm that it was a political murder. However, deceased Santu’s family claimed that he was not affiliated to any political party.
As incidents of violence were reported, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathy has appealed to people to maintain peace in accordance with the rich culture of Bengal.
After Santu was found shot dead in Gorpara area in Chakdah, BJP supporters blocked the national highway and railway tracks in Nadia demanding police action on Saturday.
According to police, around 10 pm on Friday, Santu got a call on his mobile phone from some miscreants who asked him to meet them.
“He left home after receiving the call and never returned. His body was found at the cemented area near a field in Tapoban More. We are clueless about who killed him. As far as I know he was not a member of any political party. Though earlier he was close to Trinamool Councillor Pintu Nag,” said Santu’s father Sadhu Charan Ghosh. On Friday night, local residents heard a gun firing and rushed to the spot, where they found Santu. He was rushed to Chakdah Subdivisional Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. Santu used to work at a jewellery shop in Burrabazar and was the sole earner of the family, he added.
Trinamool Councillor Nag said, “Santu was our active party worker and never quit the party.”
However, local BJP leaders said Santu had recently joined the BJP and had worked hard during the party’s campaigns in the area. They claimed he was killed because he quit TMC and actively started working for their party.
“Even on Thursday he was with us in the victory rally organised in Chakdah town. He was earlier with TMC. He was being threatened,” said Kaushik Bhowmik, secretary of Bhartiya Yuva Morcha’s Nadia District Committee. Even state BJP leadership claimed Santu was their worker.
A senior police official of Nadia district said, “A case has been lodged and our investigation is under way. We are examining circumstantial evidences and have also been recorded statements of local people. It is too early to say whether he was killed due to personal enmity or political rivalry.”
BJP state president and newly elected MP from Midnapore, Dilip Ghosh, said: “Santu who was killed in Chakdah was our party worker; he had recently joined BJP and had really worked hard in his area. After election such violence is common here. Wherever they (TMC) have been defeated, violence has been triggered. They should understand if we decide to attack them, then nothing will be in their control.”
In response to Ghosh’s statement a senior TMC leader on condition of anonymity said, “BJP is synonymous to violence and hatred. Wherever BJP will come violence will follow.”
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Chakdah incident is because of BJP’s infighting. They won from there. Now they are fighting among themselves. Who knows what caused the incident. These days police doesn’t submit me report. It’s still under the Election Commission.”
Apart from Chakdah, incidents of violence were also reported from several other places. Several party offices that belonged to TMC were allegedly captured by BJP in North 24 Parganas district, New Town and Cooch Behar areas. “Our party offices have been vandalised, some have been set on fire. They (BJP) have also locked many of our party offices,” said TMC’s Sitalkuchi block president Abed Ali Miya.
Sources said bombs were allegedly hurled on Saturday at Sitai area in Cooch Behar that had been tense ever since the results were declared.