A Bharatiya Janata Party worker was on Saturday allegedly beaten to death by supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress in Khanakul area of West Bengal’s Hooghly district after clashes erupted over hoisting the national flag on Independence Day, the Hindustan Times reported. However, the TMC has denied the allegations and claimed the incident occured due to the saffron party’s internal fight.

The deceased has been identified as 40-year-old Sudarshan Pramanik. The situation was tense in the area and authorities have deployed a large police contingent to ensure peace.

“A clash broke out between locals over hoisting the Indian flag at Khanakul in the morning,” Superintendent of Police Tathagata Basu told the newspaper. “A man was killed when he was attacked with bamboo sticks. We have detained eight persons for interrogation.”

Locals said workers and supporters of both parties wanted to hoist the flag at the same place and clashes broke out after an altercation.

BJP’s Bengal unit tweeted: “Sudarshan Pramanik, booth worker from Arambagh was brutally murdered while flag hoisting on Independence Day. Suspects are from the ruling party who are on a killing spree even on the Independence Day.”

Sayantan Basu, general secretary of BJP, claimed such incidents will continue till the TMC is in power. “Till date 108 BJP workers and leaders have been killed,” he added.

TMC leader and the party spokesperson Prabir Ghosal said they do not support violence. “I have heard that it was a fight between two factions of the BJP,” he said. “Police are investigating.”