The Supreme Court on Friday asked the West Bengal government to respond to a plea seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the murders of three Bharatiya Janata Party workers in the state, PTI reported. The party has accused the Trinamool Congress of carrying out the murders.

Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued a notice to the state and the investigating agency on the basis of a plea filed by BJP leader and advocate Gaurav Bhatia. He alleged that the police have not lodged First Information Reports in the murders of BJP workers Shaktipada Sarkar, Tirlochan Mahato and Dulal Kumar in the last three months. Their family members have been allegedly threatened, he added.

Bhatia sought police protection for them and urged the court to order the government to pay compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the victims’ families.

Unidentified assailants killed Sarkar in the state’s South 24 Parganas district on July 27 after which two Trinamool Congress booth presidents were arrested.

In June, the West Bengal Crime Investigation Department arrested a man from Purulia district for his alleged role in the murder of 20-year-old Mahato – who the BJP claimed was its member – on May 30. A message scrawled on Mahato’s T-shirt said he had been murdered for working for the saffron party. The BJP claimed that it was a political murder linked to the violent civic body elections in the state.

Dulal Kumar was found hanging from an electric tower in Purulia in June. Doctors at a government hospital, however, said in the autopsy report that the 30-year-old had committed suicide. BJP workers, however, rejected the autopsy report and called the death a “political murder”. While the BJP claimed that he was a party worker, his mother said the family supported the Trinamool Congress.