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BJP worker shot dead on the day Bengal guv calls parties to discuss violence

On the day governor Keshari Nath Tripathi held a meeting with four principal parties of the state to debate post-poll violence, a political worker was shot dead in a Bengal district and about half a dozen persons were injured when clashes erupted elsewhere between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters.

On Thursday evening, Saraswati Das, 40, a BJP worker, was shot dead inside her home in Takipur village in Hasnabad area, about 70 km away from Kolkata.

Police officers said the assailants fired from close range. “We have started investigation. We are looking into whether it was a political murder, or whether the crime was triggered by something else,” said Sabari Rajkumar, the superintendent of police.

“Das was an active member, and she was getting threats on the phone for the past few days. Goons backed by the TMC killed her inside her house,” said Ganesh Ghosh, BJP leader in the area.

Das’s husband Suvankar, who found the body of his wife riddled with bullets after returning home from the market on Thursday evening, said, “I can’t understand why my wife was killed. She was receiving threats. I think that TMC-backed men murdered her.”

“It has become a habit of the BJP to invent a political angle in every incident and blame us. Let police investigate the matter,” said Jyoti Priyo Mallik, minister and North 24 Parganas district TMC president.

The TMC and the BJP were locked in a bitter electoral battle with the latter winning 18 Lok Sabha seats, a nine-fold increase from its 2014 show of two seats. The series of political violence continued in the state even after the election results on May 23.

Earlier this week, the chief minister herself admitted that 10 people lost their lives in political violence. Das was the 11th on the list.

Only on June 8, the country’s attention was drawn to the murder of three political workers — two BJP and one TMC supporter — in Sandeshkhali North 24 Parganas district.

In other incidents of violence on Thursday night, three BJP men were beaten in Pingla area of West Midnapore district. BJP leaders called a bandh in the area.

In Taldangra of Bankura district about 237 km away from Kolkata, TMC men claimed that their supporters were attacked by BJP members. While four were injured, one of them was admitted in Bishnupur hospital. Police arrested five persons in connection with this violence.

“Police arrested our men on false grounds. Actually we were attacked,” said Vivekananda Patra, a local BJP leader.

BJP leaders in Krishnanagar of Nadia district claimed that their men were attacked by TMC men on Thursday night. However, TMC Nadia district leader Gourishankar Dutta said none from his party attacked any one.

First Published:
Jun 14, 2019 18:04 IST

Source: HindustanTimes