A Bharatiya Janata Party worker was beaten to death in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district on Wednesday morning, the Hindustan Times reported. BJP leaders have accused the Trinamool Congress of being behind the attack.
The worker has been identified as Kalachand Karmakar, a polling booth level secretary of the BJP. Cooch Behar Superintendent of Police K Kannan said Karmakar tried to intervene in a quarrel between members of two clubs. “Someone punched Karmakar in the face and he fell unconscious,” Kannan said. “He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.” An unidentified police official told the newspaper that one person has been arrested in the case.
Several BJP leaders condemned the incident. Bengal unit of the saffron party claimed that the TMC’s “murder politics” continues in West Bengal. “In Coochbehar, BJP booth secretary Kalachand Karmokar was brutally beaten to death by TMC goons,” the BJP unit said on Twitter. “Pishi [aunty], you cannot expect people of Bengal to support your politics of blood and terror. Enough. Start counting your days!” “Pishi” or aunty in Bengali is an indirect reference to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“Coochbehar’s BJP booth manager worker Kalachand Karmakar was assaulted to death by Trinamool Congress’ ‘goons’, but the administration has blindfolded itself instead of taking action,” Union minister Babul Supriyo tweeted. “People will soon teach this arrogant government a lesson.”
BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya claimed that Karmakar was a target because he was a polling booth level worker. “Our party is strengthening its base in all polling booth areas,” he said. “The ruling party [the Trinamool Congress] is trying to foil our strategy by targeting booth-level workers.”
The Trinamool Congress, however, has denied the allegations. The party’s district General Secretary Abdul Jalil Ahmed said the clash had nothing to do with politics and the party was not involved in any way.
North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh accused the BJP of trying to politicise the matter, according to NDTV. “The incident took place due to a local dispute,” he said. “[The] police are investigating it.”
Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said the BJP would blame the party even if someone dies of the coronavirus in Kolkata.