Trinamool worker found dead in Bengal’s Jhargram district, blame game begins
A 55-year-old ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporter was found dead with his throat slit in West Bengal’s Jhargram district on Tuesday.
Chandan Sarangi is the sixth political worker to have been killed in the state since August 25. His blood-soaked body was found in a paddy field of Radhanagar gram panchayat. His motorcycle and bag containing a cell phone were found near the murder scene.
Sarangi’s murder is suspected to be linked to the violence related to the formation of rural body boards for electing panchayat heads in the state. The panchayat elections were held in the state in May amid clashes between rival party supporters. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Congress accused the TMC of intimidating their candidates and supporters.
A TMC worker was killed in North Dinajpur district on Saturday. Four TMC and BJP members were killed in Malda and Purulia four days earlier.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee referred to Sarangi’s murder in her TMC student’s wing foundation day address in Kolkata on Tuesday. “One of our dedicated men, Chandan, was murdered today in Jamboni,” she said.
Sarangi’s brother, Prasun, blamed the BJP and CPI (M) for the murder. “I see the hand of the BJP and CPI (M) behind my brother’s murder. If my brother could be removed from the scene, it would become easy to form the panchayat board,” said Prasun, a member of TMC’s core committee in Jhargram.
The BJP denied the allegation. “We do not indulge in the politics of blood and gore. His own party men might have killed him due to some personal reason,” said BJP’s Jhargram district president Sukhmay Satpati.
Aditya Mondal, who had won panchayat polls on a BJP ticket from Khajura in Purulia, joined the ruling party a day after TMC toughs allegedly shot at him. He claimed Didi’s development work had inspired him to join the TMC.
Purulia district magistrate Alokesh Prasad Roy said the formation of 32 panchayat boards was postponed indefinitely in the district because of the violence.