West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar slams state machinery, demands fair probe in murder of RSS worker

Murshidabad (WB): The gruesome murder of a school teacher, his wife and minor son in Murshidabad acquired political overtones on Thursday with the BJP and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar hitting out at the Mamata Banerjee government over the killings, and the RSS claiming the teacher was its supporter.

Dhankhar said the incident "put humanity to shame", and castigated the state machinery for alleged lack of response. The governor told PTI he has also sought a report from the state government "on an urgent basis" on the incident that has sent shock waves across the country.

Governor Dhankhar has flagged the issue to the DGP and Chief Secretary for an urgent update on the situation and has asked the investigating agency to probe the incident in a fair manner and book the culprits as soon as possible.

The state's ruling Trinamool Congress hit back, accusing Dhankar of "speaking selectively" and acting in a manner that does not "behove a governor".

"The incident puts humanity to shame. A teacher, his pregnant wife, and son are killed in a barbaric manner...no response from the state machinery. This cannot be countenanced," the governor said. Bandhu Prakash Pal, the 35-year-old teacher, his pregnant wife Beauty and 8-year-old son Angan were found lying in pools of blood in their house at Jiaganj in Murshidabad district on Tuesday when Durga Puja festivities were on.

The three were killed by unidentified miscreants, police had said on Wednesday. According to police, it has come across a page of a diary which suggested "likely strained relations" between the victim couple. "The investigation is on. We are looking into all the angles. But we have no clue whether he is a member or supporter of any organisation or political outfit," a senior police official told PTI, adding three people have been detained for questioning.

Reacting sharply to the governor's statement, senior TMC leader Tapas Roy accused Dhankar of "speaking selectively" on incidents of violence in the state. "When a TMC worker is killed in Paskura in East Midnapore, he doesn't make a statement. He assumed office recently and has already started speaking selectively. This doesn't behove a governor," he said.

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya, who is also in charge of his party's affairs in Bengal, lashed out at state government over the killings. "What can be more heinous than this? RSS worker Bandhu Prakash Pal, his pregnant wife and their eight-year-old child were brutally killed in Murshidabad. How can law and order of a state be considered good when the life of a common man is not safe? What is happening 'didi' in your rule," he said in a tweet.

Dhankar said the incident is a "critical reflection" of the law and order situation in the state. "I am shocked, distressed and pained at the inhuman, brutal killing of a school teacher, his wife and their son in Murshidabad district. This is a critical reflection of the state of affairs and the law and order of West Bengal," Dhankhar told PTI. BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra shared on Twitter a video of a house in which blood stains could be seen on the floor.

"Warning : Gruesome video. This has shaken my conscience...a RSS worker Bandhu Prakash Pal, his eight months pregnant wife & his kid were brutally slaughtered in West Bengals Murshidabad. Not a word by the liberals. Not a letter by 59 liberals to Mamata. Nauseating Selectivism!," he said in the tweet accompanying the video. He was apparently referring to 49 eminent people from various fields writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July this year asking him to take action against incidents of mob lynching.

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