BJP activists gather near NRS Hospital during a protest against the alleged murder of party leader Manish Shukla in Titagarh.
BJP activists gather near NRS Hospital during a protest against the alleged murder of party leader Manish Shukla in Titagarh.
—ANI

Kolkata

Amidst a 12-hour bandh called by the BJP in Barrackpore area of West Bengal to protest against the killing of BJP leader Manish Sukla, shot by motorcycle-borne men in Titagarh on Sunday, tear gas shells were fired by police to disperse the angry protesters on Monday afternoon. BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya visited the family of Sukla in Titagarh.

Earlier in the day, BJP leaders Arvind Menon, Locket Chatterjee, Arjun Singh and Kailash Vijayvargiya went to NRS hospital where the body of the BJP worker was kept. Sukla had switched over from Trinamool Congress (TMC) to BJP in 2019 and was considered close to Singh, the Barrackpore MP. While the BJP has pointed fingers at TMC for Sukla’s death, the ruling establishment has denied the allegations and said it is infighting within the BJP that led to Sukla’s murder.

The West Bengal Police tweeted, “A person was shot dead last evening in Titagarh area of Barrackpore. Police are investigating the crime and looking into all possible reasons including personal enmity because the victim was accused in some cases of murder and attempt of murder.” The second part of the tweet speaks of irresponsible comments on social media interfering with police investigation.

“There is no harmony bet­w­een the police and people. At a stone’s throw from the police station, BJP leader Manish Sukla was killed. Till now the spot has not been sealed and postmortem has not been conducted. His widow and two daughters are waiting to know what has happened. Police have not yet given the death certificate,” Kailash Vijayvargiya said , adding, the incident is sha­m­e­ful and it was not first such case, referring to earlier incidents where BJP supporters were found hanging. While BJP said it was a murder, TMC said it was a suicide.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar reacted to the law and order situation. “Conveyed my concern of the present alarming scenario @MamataOfficial to the new chief secretary. Am sure Chief Minister would be indicated all these critical aspects that run down democratic governance and lawlessness. Political violence and targeted killings must stop,” tweeted Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

The Governor also slammed DGP Virendra and Home Secretary HK Dwivedi, who did not show up when summoned. However Chief Secretary Alapan Bandhopadhyay later met him.

The TMC is countering the BJP’s claims to safeguard its turf ahead of the 2021 Assembly election. The BJP on the other hand is looking to show the law and order situation in West Bengal is dismal, with party workers targeted by TMC supporters.

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