Days after the BJP swept elections to rural local bodies in Balarampur in Purulia district of West Bengal, 18-year-old Trilochan Mahato, who the party said was a member of its youth wing, was found hanging from a tree at Supurdi village. Police found a note at the spot with a message in Bengali that read “at the age of 18, you are doing BJP’s politics… today, you are dead”. The same message, police said, was also scrawled on his T-shirt.
Hours later, the BJP accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of murder. BJP district president Vidyasagar Chakraborty said: “No one can be so dirty in politics like the TMC. We will fight this. Mahato was a BJP youth wing member and had actively worked during the panchayat polls.”
BJP national president Amit Shah, in a tweet, said: “Deeply hurt by the brutal killing of our young karyakarta, Trilochan Mahato in Balarampur, West Bengal. A young life full of possibilities was brutally taken out under state’s patronage. He was hanged on a tree just because his ideology differed from that of state sponsored goons.”
“The present TMC govt in West Bengal has surpassed the violent legacy of Communist rule. Entire BJP mourns this tragic loss & stands firmly with Trilochan Mahato’s family in this hour of grief. His sacrifice for organisation & ideology will not go in vain. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti,” Shah said.
The present TMC govt in West Bengal has surpassed the violent legacy of Communist rule. Entire BJP mourns this tragic loss & stands firmly with Trilochan Mahato’s family in this hour of grief. His sacrifice for organisation & ideology will not go in vain. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 30, 2018
Rejecting the charge, the TMC said the youth’s death was the result of an “intra-party feud”. Balarampur TMC MLA Shantiram Mahato said: “There has been lot of groupism in their party (BJP) after the panchayat polls. Out of insecurity, they are blaming us. We want a proper probe and would like the CID to investigate the matter.”
Police said Trilochan’s body was found in a forest. “We did not find external injury marks. He was wearing a T-shirt with a message written on it. A note with the same message was also found at the spot. We are investigating,” Purulia SP Joy Biswas told The Indian Express.
In his complaint to police, Trilochan’s father Hariram Mahato named six persons, alleging they were affiliated with the TMC. He also said Trilochan had received death threats earlier. A murder case has been registered on the basis of the complaint.
According to the complaint, Trilochan, a History student, stepped out of his house around 5 pm Tuesday to get notes photocopied. When he did not return even after two hours, his elder brother called him on his mobile phone. Trilochan reportedly told him that he would be home within the next hour. But when he did not return, his family set out to look for him. Around 8.30 pm, the brother received a call from Trilochan’s mobile phone that some people were holding him. Police said they were trying to ascertain whether it was Trilochan who had made that call. His body was found around 7 am Wednesday.