Demanding a CBI probe into the death of BJYM worker Arjun Chowrasia in Kolkata’s Kashipur, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said a culture of violence and a fear psychosis was prevalent in Bengal.
Shah, who is on a two-day visit to the state, visited Chowrasia’s home after news broke that the worker had been found hanging in an abandoned building in the area in mysterious circumstances.
The BJP leader, who had crossed swords with West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last year during a campaign for the elections to the state assembly, said the BJP will demand the strictest punishment from the courts of law for whoever is guilty of the crime.
“Yesterday TMC celebrated one year of its third term in office and now we have this case of Chowrasia being killed,” the home minister said to reporters after meeting the worker’s family members. He also added that Union Home Ministry is taking serious note of Chowrasia’s death and has sought a report on it.
Tension prevailed in Cossipore on Friday as police officers faced protests from BJP activists at the spot as they tried to take away the body. Later a large police contingent was rushed to the spot to control the situation and it took away the body to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital for post mortem.
The BJP has alleged that Chowrasia was murdered by the ruling TMC, which has denied the charge. “He was an efficient party worker. We found him dead in the morning,” state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.
Another senior BJP leader said Shah was upset after hearing the news. “He told us to cancel his grand welcome at the NSC Bose airport,” he said.
Senior Bengal BJP leader Rahul Sinha said the man was murdered on the orders of top Trinamool leaders because of Shah’s visit. “Our worker Arjun Chowrasia was murdered and hanged in the same Trinamool-style only because Home Minister Amit Shah’s programmes are scheduled today. It’s not only lower level TMC leaders who are involved in this incident but even the top leadership is involved,” he said.
Refuting the BJP charge, TMC MP Santanu Sen said: “The allegations against us are baseless. Let the police investigate the matter.”
Atin Ghosh, a local Trinamool MLA, said the allegations were by “BJP outsiders”. “How can you decide what has happened before a post-mortem? Why call only Amit shah? Call the Prime Minister. The BJP is making unfounded allegations for political gains,” Ghosh said.
The deceased’s family alleged that he was receiving threats since the TMC returned to power in May 2021 after the assembly elections. Police said no suicide note was found from the spot.