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Saturday 18 January 2020

BJP worker, who had switched from Trinamool, shot dead

Santu Ghosh had switched to the BJP from the Trinamool ahead of the Lok Sabha polls; Nadia BJP has blamed the ruling party for the murder

Chakdaha, West Bengal: A 23-year-old BJP worker has been shot dead in Nadia district, police said on Saturday.

The incident happened at Chakdaha town around 10 PM on Friday, a police officer said. Santu Ghosh (23), a resident of Tapaban area in Chakdaha town, was shot at from a close range after he went out of his house following a phone call, he said. He was taken to Chakdaha State General Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, he added.

BJP leaders and workers staged a road blockade on National Highway 34, the police officer said. They blocked railway tracks at various places in Nadia district on Saturday to protest against the killing of their party worker, he said.

Where this BJP worker came from

An investigation has been initiated, the police officer said. The police recovered the mobile phone of the dead BJP worker. The cops detained two persons for interrogation.

Santu Ghosh had switched to the BJP from the Trinamool ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, sources said.

“The Trinamool is behind the incident,” the general secretary of Nadia BJP committee, Tarak Sarkar, said. BJYM’s Nadia district committee secretary Kaushik Bhowmik said, “Santu was killed because he left Trinamool. On Thursday evening, he walked with us in a victory rally organised by the party in Chakdah town. He had been receiving threats to his life since then.”

BJP’s Chakdaha town committee secretary Shyamal Biswas said, “Santu was killed by Trinamool. They apparently tried to convey a message to the ruling party workers that they would meet the same fate if they dared to join BJP.”

The Trinamool denied the allegation. Former party councillor Pintu Nag said, “Santu was our active worker and he never left the party.” Nag alleged he was beaten up by some BJP workers.

Central forces have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order, police said.

Bengal’s bloody elections

Bengal has witnessed the bloodiest Lok Sabha election in 2019, with every phase of the nationwide poll in the State marred by political murders and other crimes.

Incidents of violence, road blockades, bombings and police firing marred the second phase of polling at three Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal.

On 23 April, Trinamool and Congress workers clashed at a polling station in Murshidabad. Tairul Sheikh, a voter awaiting his turn in a queue before a polling booth in Murshidabad, was hacked to death. That day, the body of a polling agent was found hanging at his house in Buniadpur of the South Dinajpur district. The police have initiated an inquiry into the death.

During the fourth phase in Asansol, violent skirmishes between Trinamool and BJP supporters erupted, after which the police had to take recourse to lathi charge. Outside a polling booth, the car of MP and BJP leader Babul Supriyo was ransacked.

On 6 May again, incidents of violence were reported from different districts that went to poll that day.

On 19 May, it was found that while the Election Commission had earlier ruled that neither the central forces nor the State police could enter polling booths in Bengal, now the policemen were allowed in whereas the central forces could secure only the areas outside the booth.

Before this, Bengal was witness to the most violence-ridden panchayat election.

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