Shah hits out at TMC, blames it for BJP youth leader’s alleged murder

Published on May 06, 2022 05:31 PM IST

BJP leaders said Arjun Chowrasia was supposed to lead a motorcycle rally to welcome Shah in Kolkata and was busy preparing for it till last evening

Union home minister Amit Shah. (PTI)
Union home minister Amit Shah. (PTI)

Kolkata: Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday hit out at West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) government while blaming it for a 26-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing leader’s alleged murder in Kolkata. Shah, who visited Arjun Chowrasia’s family, said the Centre has sought a report from the state government and that the case should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Shah arrived in Kolkata hours before Chowrasia was found dead. He said the youth leader’s “political murder” happened a day after the TMC government completed its first year in office after being voted back to power last year. “This is a conspiracy and an attempt to create an atmosphere of terror.”

He said the BJP has moved the court seeking videography of Chowrasia’s post mortem. “The case should be handed over to the CBI. Probably, in no other state, so many cases have been handed over to CBI in less than a year. This proves courts have no faith in the police and the state administration,” Shah said. He added the BJP will ensure the guilty would get the strictest punishment.

BJP leaders said Chowrasia was supposed to lead a motorcycle rally to welcome Shah in Kolkata and was busy preparing for it till last evening.

“When he did not return home late in the night, my brother went to the local police station around 2 am and informed the police. The police did nothing to trace him. If they had tried to trace him, this would not have happened. Later around 7 am, his body was found. It was only then that the police came,” said Sunita, Chowrasia’s sister.

Chowrasia’s body was found hanging in an abandoned railway quarter 100 metres from his home. BJP leaders and his family alleged he was murdered and then hanged. “Over the last three to four days, he was very scared. We have no faith in the police. We want a CBI probe. We want justice. My brother cannot die by suicide.”

BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya called Chowrasia a long-term active BJP worker. “He had to stay away from home for around a week after the assembly election results were declared on May 2 last year following threats from TMC,” said Bhattacharya. Chowrasia was allegedly receiving threats since the TMC returned to power.

TMC said Chowrasia was a worker of the ruling party and campaigned for it in civic elections in Kolkata in December. “The BP is telling lies. Chowrasia, even though not too active, worked for local TMC ward councillor Suman Singh during the municipal elections. The BJP would be unable to show any documents to show he was their worker. Chowrasia’s father was a Congress worker and he too had died by suicide,” said TMC lawmaker Atin Ghosh.

A scuffle also broke out between the TMC and BJP workers. The BJP workers refused to hand over Chowrasia’s body to the police for over five hours.

Shah quoted Chowrasia’s family saying the police snatched the body and even the latter’s grandmother was not spared. “She was beaten up. The family is pained with their loss and also with the behaviour meted out to them. Instead of arresting the murderers, police thrashed the family members,” said Shah.

A police officer said an investigation is going on and that they have not found any suicide note.

TMC leader Kunal Ghosh called for a probe on whether the BJP deliberately brought in outsiders to tamper with evidence including fingerprints. “They did not allow the police to enter the building [where the body was found]. It is unfortunate the BJP is playing politics over a death.”

He insisted TMC has nothing to do with the death. “It needs to be investigated whether BJP is trying to create an issue by sacrificing a worker of one of its rebel factions when a central leader is in town. The BJP has no issue at the moment and this could be an effort to stage a drama.”

Shah slammed TMC over the deteriorating law and order. “There are multiple examples of political violence, vindictive murders and opposition being singled out and targeted in West Bengal. Today’s murder, a day after the first anniversary of the TMC’s government returning to power, is like a message that they are not going to stop. Earlier during the communist regime in the state, opposition voices were trampled through violence and murder and now during the TMC rule, it is even worse...”

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