Tribune News Service
Kolkata, October 30
As the killings of the BJP functionaries in Kashmir makes national headlines, the BJP leaders in West Bengal wonder why the murders of party workers in their state fail to get as much attention from the media.
Unlike Kashmir, in West Bengal, nobody claims the responsibility for the murders which are passed off as gang rivalry, factionalism, suicide, and so on.
According to West Bengal BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu, as many as 123 BJP workers have been killed in the state since 2013.
On October 5, journalist-turned-BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta had counted murders of 110 BJP workers.
“Yet another BJP leader murdered in West Bengal. Councillor Manish Shukla gunned down in Titagarh. TMC seeks to intimidate and murder opponents, even as the ground is slipping from under its feet. Nearly 110 BJP workers murdered,” Dasgupta had tweeted after a close associate of Arjun Singh, the BJP Lok Sabha member from Barrackpore, was shot.
In July, the BJP gave out the names of 93 slain party workers. A booklet released by BJP state president Dilip Ghosh listed 93 BJP workers, including five women, who fell victim to political violence in the state during last seven years.
The first name in the list was that of Bapi Ghosh, BJP worker of Nadia, Krishnanagar, who was murdered on July 15, 2020. The last name was of Nripen Mandal, killed in Malda district on June 16, 2013.
According to the booklet, during the seven years (June 16, 2013, to July 17, 2020), the maximum number of killings of the BJP workers (33 total) took place in 2018. Most of these killings were on account of the violence that was unleashed in the wake of the panchayat elections held in the state in 2018.
“It is a real killing field out here,” West Bengal BJP vice-president Joy Prokash Majumdar said. Majumdar himself was physically assaulted last year during an Assembly bypoll in which he was the BJP candidate.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had to cancel her plan to attend the oath ceremony of Narendra Modi’s second term as the Prime Minister as the event was also attended by family members of BJP workers murdered in Bengal.