West Bengal post-poll violence: BJP candidate passes away months after TMC assault, family demands CBI probe

Dhurjoti Saha, the BJP candidate from Magrahat Paschim assembly seat in South 24 Parganas district who lost the April-May poll and was allegedly assaulted by TMC workers, died on Wednesday.

Press Trust of India September 22, 2021 21:00:31 IST
West Bengal post-poll violence: BJP candidate passes away months after TMC assault, family demands CBI probe

Representational Image. Reuters

Kolkata: Dhurjoti Saha, the BJP candidate from Magrahat Paschim assembly seat in South 24 Parganas district who lost the April-May poll and was allegedly assaulted by TMC workers, died on Wednesday at a city hospital after being under treatment since the first week of May, the party and family members said.

Saha's wife and son have demanded CBI enquiry into the incident alleging that he had received serious head injuries in an assault by TMC workers on the day of counting of votes on 2 May.

Local TMC MLA Giasuddin Mollah said he does not know who assaulted Saha as he was inside the counting centre at that time.

BJP MP Arjun Singh, who visited the hospital after Saha's death, said "He was beaten up by the henchmen of local TMC MLA after counting trends showed he (Saha) was trailing. He had to be admitted to the hospital the next day."

Singh told newsmen that he was beaten up by the henchmen of the local TMC MLA after counting trends showed he was trailing and had to be rushed to hospital the next day.

Claiming that this was another instance of post-poll atrocities by TMC against its political opponents, Singh said BJP will soon take up the issue with National Human Rights Commission.

Calcutta High Court had accepted the recommendations of an NHRC panel and on 19 August ordered a CBI probe into all alleged cases of heinous crimes like rape and murder that took place in West Bengal after the assembly poll.

Saha's wife alleged that he was assaulted outside the counting centre at Magrahat by three-four TMC activists close to the local Trinamool Congress MLA and police did not come to his rescue when he had sought their help.

"He was taken home much later at the intervention of local BJP leadership and some residents of the area. He was rushed to the hospital when his condition deteriorated," she said.

Saha's son said the hospital had previously declared him fit and had even told the family to be ready for his discharge on Wednesday. But the family was suddenly informed in the morning that he had been shifted back to the intensive care unit and then informed them about his death.

"We demand CBI probe into the incident and the arrest of those behind the attack," Saha's wife and son said.

The newly appointed state BJP president, Sukanta Majumder said that Saha's death was "unfortunate". "We have information that he was attacked by TMC miscreants on the day votes were counted, which led to his death. This lowers the heads of the people of Bengal. A poll candidate had been attacked in Didi's (Mamata Banerjee's) Bengal. This shows how opposition BJP activists and leaders are being attacked since the day of counting".

Hitting out at the ruling TMC, Majumder said the party is muzzling the people's voice in an "undemocratic manner".

The people of the state are afraid to express their views openly in the TMC regime, he said and claimed that the party does not want people to exercise their franchise.

Referring to the 30 September by-poll in the state, Majumder, who was speaking to reporters, said "I will ask everyone to vote without fear, in a free manner. Vote for whoever you like and don't feel intimidated by any party,"

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is among the contestants in the by-poll. She had lost to BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari, her former protégé, in Nandigram and is seeking election from Bhabanipur seat in the city, from where she had won in 2011 and 2016, to continue in office as per rules.

Continuing his criticism of Mamata Banerjee's party, Majumder said "TMC leaders are steeped in corruption everywhere, even in villages. They are demanding cut money for every project.

"The Enforcement Directorate is sending invitation letters to some TMC leaders", the BJP leader said referring to summons to TMC heavyweights by the central agency in recent times but did not elaborate.

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