'BJP worker' in West Bengal's Purulia committed suicide, say police; saffron party demands CBI inquiry

Dulal Kumar's body was found hanging from a power transmission tower near the fields in Dava village under Balarampur police station on Sunday morning.

'BJP worker' in West Bengal's Purulia committed suicide, say police; saffron party demands CBI inquiry
Representational image - File photo (Pic courtesy: @DilipGhoshBJP)

Purulia: The man, whose body was found hanging from a power transmission tower here on Saturday, had committed suicide, the police said on Sunday on the basis of the post-mortem report, even as normal life was partially hit in the district following a 12-hour bandh called by the BJP, which claimed that the deceased was a member of the party.

The saffron party has also alleged that Dulal Kumar's death is a political murder.

The incident came close on the heels of the body of another man being found hanging from a tree at Balarampur in the district on May 30.

Newly-appointed Purulia Superintendent of Police (SP) Akash Magharia said a team of five doctors conducted the post-mortem of Kumar's body.

"The post-mortem report said it was a case of asphyxia due to ante-mortem hanging and suicidal in nature," he told newspersons here.

The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal replaced Joy Biswas as the SP of the district and appointed Magharia in his place, following the two back-to-back incidents.

Meanwhile, BJP supporters put up road blockades and prevented goods vehicles from plying on national highways at different places in the district.

The administration, however, dubbed it as a "normal Sunday" when schools, colleges, banks and government offices remained closed.

Balarampur, where the two incidents have occurred, wore a deserted look as the locals largely stayed indoors. The scene was similar in other parts of the district, where public and private vehicles stayed off the roads, and shops and markets remained closed.

The bandh began at 6 am.

"This is absolutely a normal Sunday. Schools, colleges, banks and other government offices are closed as other Sundays. That is why it is appearing to be like a bandh. Buses and other vehicles are plying like any other weekend. No untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the district. There is no bandh here," Purulia District Magistrate (DM) Alokesh Prasad Roy told PTI.

Kumar's (35) body was found hanging from a power transmission tower near the fields in Dava village under Balarampur police station on Sunday morning.

The incident occurred three days after the body of another man, Trilochon Mahato (20), who the BJP said was a member of its youth wing, was found hanging from a tree.

The BJP has alleged the deaths are "political murders" and demanded a CBI inquiry into the incidents.

BJP leaders, including its state women's wing chief, Locket Chatterjee, were scheduled to visit the district today, party sources said.

An unsigned, hand-written note found near Mahato's body had stated that he was "punished for working for the BJP" during the recent rural polls in the state. However, no such note was found in Kumar's case, former SP Biswas had said yesterday.

Kumar's death had outraged the locals, who had protested outside the Balarampur police station yesterday.

The alleged killings have triggered another round of face-off between the TMC and the BJP, which has emerged as a formidable challenger to the ruling party in the state after last month's panchayat polls.

"Distressed to know about yet another killing of BJP karyakarta Dulal Kumar in Balrampur, West Bengal. This continued brutality and violence in the land of West Bengal is shameful and inhuman. Mamata Banerjee's govt has completely failed to maintain law and order in the state," BJP president Amit Shah had tweeted yesterday.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar had also attacked the TMC government over the two deaths, saying, "This is inhuman and the worst kind of crime. We condemn the brutal political murders. The people of West Bengal will definitely teach a lesson to those behind the incidents."

"Nineteen BJP workers have been killed so far (since the panchayat polls). The latest victims are Dulal and Trilochon Mahato," he had added.

TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee had said he suspected that the Bajrang Dal had a role in the incidents.

TMC Rajya Sabha member Derek O' Brien had condemned the killings and demanded a detailed probe into those. He had, however, not ruled out the involvement of the BJP, the Bajrang Dal or Maoists in the incidents.

"We strongly condemn this despicable killing. All angles must be probed. The perpetrators of this heinous act must be punished. What role did Jharkhand border have to play? What elements of Bajrang Dal, Maoist or BJP involved. Let the truth be found out through proper investigation (sic)," he had tweeted yesterday after Kumar's body was found.

The West Bengal government has ordered a CID probe into Mahato's killing.

In Purulia, the BJP gave a tough fight to the ruling TMC in the panchayat polls and won 645 seats as against the latter's 839. Of the 38 zilla parishad seats, the TMC bagged 26 and the BJP nine. 

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