KOLKATA: A 55-year-old man, whom the BJP claims to be a member of the saffron camp, was shot dead in Nadia district late on Friday night. However, in a counter claim, the Trinamool, too, identified the victim as one of their party workers.
Haralal Debnath was shot at from point-blank range in front of his grocery shop around 10 pm at Habibpur in Ranaghat area.
"Two youth came to the shop and bought a packet of snacks. They were standing on the road in front of the shop and Debnath was about to close his outlet,’’ said a police officer of Ranaghat police station. "As Debnath came on the road after closing his shop, one of the youth shot him. The victim’s wife too was standing nearby and she witnessed the attack," he added.
BJP’s vice president Jayprakash Majumdar alleged that Debnath’s murder was yet another incident of attack on their party workers by the Bengal’s ruling party. "He (Debnath) was an active member of our party. He was threatened by local Trinamool workers on several occasions in the recent past,’’ said Majumdar.
Majumdar and other BJP leaders visited Debnath’s house on Saturday. The police, however, are yet to ascertain whether there was a political motive behind Debnath’s murder.
The state leadership of the BJP staged a sit-in demonstration near Gandhi statue in Kolkata on Saturday in protest against the recent killings of the workers of the saffron camp.
Gauri Shankar Dutta, Trinamool's Nadia district committee president, said Debnath was their party worker. "He played an active role in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP is trying to gain political mileage over the issue of our party worker's killing," said Dutta.
BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh said party workers were getting killed one after another. "The governor issued a statement condemning the triple murder in Murshidabad but Trinamool raised questions on the authority of the constitutional head of the state. This is unfortunate. Will the governor have to seek permission from the Trinamool Congress before commenting on the state worsening law and order situation?" asked Ghosh.
Referring to the Murshidabad killing, West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Thursday had said, "I am shocked, distressed and pained at the brutal killing of a school teacher, his wife and son…This is a critical reflection of the state of affairs and the law and order of Bengal".
Reacting to it, Trinamool’s secretary-general Partha Chatterjee had said Dhankar was demeaning the post of the governor by crossing his constitutional limits.
The BJP leaders in Bengal sought time from President Ram Nath Kobind and Union home minister Amit Shah on October 15 to apprise them about the state’s deteriorating law and order situation.