A Bharatiya Janata Party worker in Balarampur in West Bengal’s Purulia district was found hanging from a tree on Wednesday, NDTV reported. The party claimed that it was a political murder linked to the violent civic body elections in the state earlier this month.
“This is for doing BJP politics from age 18,” read a message scrawled on 20-year-old Trilochan Mahato’s T-shirt and on a piece of paper found near his feet. “Been trying to kill you since the vote. Failed. Today you are dead.”
Mahato, a third-year student of history at Balarampur college, went to a photocopy shop near his home on Tuesday evening, News18 reported. Around 6 pm, he called his brother Vivekananda and told him that he was receiving death threats on his cellphone.
He went missing soon after. According to The New Indian Express, Mahato called up his brother on Tuesday night, saying he had been kidnapped. He reportedly urged his brother to rescue him. The police searched for the 20-year-old the entire night but failed to find him. In a police complaint, Mahato’s father has reportedly named six men for threatening to kill his son.
Purulia Superintendent of Police Joy Biswas said it was too early to say who was behind the murder. “We are investigating the case,” he told News18. “His body has been sent for postmortem. So far no one has been arrested.”
“A young life full of possibilities was brutally taken out under state’s patronage,” BJP President Amit Shah tweeted, pointing a finger at the ruling Trinamool Congress. “He was hanged on a tree just because his ideology differed from that of state-sponsored goons.”
The BJP leader claimed that the Trinamool Congress had surpassed the violent legacy of the 34-year rule of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the state. “Entire BJP mourns this tragic loss and stands firmly with Trilochan Mahato’s family in this hour of grief,” Shah added. “His sacrifice for organisation and ideology will not go in vain.”
Local Trinamool Congress leader Shrishti Dhar Mahato alleged that the murder was linked to infighting within the BJP. “I want a CID [Criminal Investigation Department] probe,” Dhar told NDTV. “Today there is so much infighting within the BJP for a chair.”