The bodies of a BJP leader and a Trinamool Congress worker were found on Saturday night, triggering allegations of political murders in West Bengal, a few hours before polling began in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha election on Sunday.
Ramen Singh, 42, and Sudhakar Maity, 55, were found dead in Gopiballavpur of Jhargram and Contai of East Midnapore respectively. While Singh was a booth president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Maity was a Trinamool Congress worker.
Medinipur and Jhargram are among the eight constituencies polling in the sixth phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on Sunday.
Both the bodies were sent for post-mortem examinations. Police officers refused to comment before the results of the post-mortem exam were available.
Leaders of the opposition BJP claimed there were injury marks on Singh’s forehead, back of the head, hand and leg. They also claimed that TMC workers held a motorcycle rally in the village on Saturday night and thrashed Singh. He was rushed to Topsia hospital where he was declared dead.
“Ramen Singh was a booth president of Dhabani village. He was killed by the TMC men to instil fear among the minds of the people,” BJP district president of Jhargram Sukhmay Satpathi alleged.
However, TMC’s Churamani Hansda trashed the allegation and claimed Singh was ill and he fell to the ground. “The BJP is trying to lend a political colour to the incident,” claimed Hansda.
Maity’s body was found on a road in Ayodhyanagar in Contai area of East Midnapore district. He had recently joined the TMC from the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He had left home on Saturday on his two-wheeler to see meet a relative, who was admitted in a hospital.
There was an injury mark at the back of his head, said his son. He, however, said he did not suspect anyone and would wait for the police investigation.
In another incident, in Paschimbar village under Bhagabanpur in Contai area, two BJP supporters were taken to Tamluk hospital with bullet injuries. Ananta Guchait and Ranjit Maity were later taken to NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
BJP leaders said they were injured when TMC men allegedly hurled crude bombs in the village. TMC leaders, however, claimed that they were injured in factional fights of the BJP.
The house of Paritosh Pattanayak, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was vandalised in Haldia around 2am on Sunday. Pattanayak alleged that the house was empty and it was not a case of simple theft but an act by TMC workers.
“We were away since we went to a different place for casting our votes,” said Pattanayak.
On Sunday, four TMC workers were injured in Belda area of East Midnapore district, when the ruling party’s camp office was attacked by some men armed with sharp weapons. One of the inured was said to be in critical condition.
Police have arrested 11 BJP supporters for their alleged involvement in this incident after polling began.
Clashes from several places including Moyna in East Midnapore and Dantan, Sabang, Keshpur and Garbeta in West Midnapore have been reported before polling on Sunday.
Violence and scuffles have marred all the phases of polling in West Bengal so far as the
Polling in West Bengal has been marred by violence in almost all the phases as the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC fights it out with the BJP to retain control over the 34 seats it won in 2014 and wrest the eight constituencies.