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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Another BJP leader, Shambhu Maiti, hacked to death in West Bengal

Days after a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader Mithun Ghosh was shot dead at his home in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district, another BJP leader has been hacked to death at Bhagabanpur in Purba Medinipur (East Midnapore) district of the state.

The incident took place on Saturday night when Shambhu Maiti (36), the head of BJP’s Shakti Kendra in Chandipur Assembly constituency, was picked up from the road side and hacked to death. His body was recovered from the banks of Keleghai river on Sunday morning.

According to the local people, some unknown persons forced Maiti onto a motorcycle and sped away. On Sunday morning, they spotted Maiti’s body lying on the banks of the river and informed the police.

According to the police, there were sharp cut marks all over Maiti’s body. As per their usual tactic, the ruling TMC has denied any involvement in Shambhu’s murder and blamed it on ‘BJP infighting’.

On October 17, Mithun Ghosh (37), the district vice-president of the BJP’s youth wing, was shot dead in Itahar area in Uttar Dinajpur district. Ghosh was fired upon by some unidentified miscreants right in front of his residence in Rajgram village. Though he was rushed to the Raiganj Medical College and Hospital, the doctors declared him brought dead.

Over 50 BJP workers, their family members and other supporters are believed to have been killed in the horrific post-poll pogrom launched by ruling TMC since assembly election results announced on May 2. Hundreds of women have been raped and molested, and anywhere from 40K to 1 lakh Hindus were displaced from their homes, with many still homeless and being threatened to pay protection money or provide sexual favors to return to their homes and professions.

One of the most horrific incidents occurred in the same Purba Medinipur district where Shambhu was murdered. A 60-year-old woman was tied to a cot and gangraped in front of her six-year-old grandson. When her son-in-law went to the police to lodge an FIR, the police refused to entertain.

A fact-finding team headed by a retired High Court Chief Justice which visited in May/June found that there were 15,000 incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal in which at least 25 people were killed and 7,000 women raped/molested. An NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) report confirmed how the state machinery was hand-in-glove with the attackers:

“Out of 9,304 accused cited in the FIRs, only 1,354 (14 %) have been arrested and, out of these arrested, 80% are already on bail. Thus, overall speaking, less than 3% of the accused are in jail, while 97% are out in the open, making a mockery of the whole system….This may well be the death knell for democracy.“

Most murders of BJP workers in West Bengal are passed off as factionalism, suicide, personal feud and so on, so hard numbers are difficult to come by. In October 2020, West Bengal BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said that as many as 123 BJP workers have been killed in the state since 2013. 

According to a booklet released by former BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, 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 farcical panchayat elections held in the state in 2018, when TMC won over one-third of the seats ‘unopposed’ due to the wave or terror and intimidation unleashed by them. The most disturbing images of that election were the sight of BJP workers Trilochan Mahato (20) and Dulal Kumar (30) hanged to death, with Trilochan’s shirt having the message “This is what you deserve for working for BJP”.

So including the pre and post-poll violence over this year’s assembly elections, the figure of BJP workers/supporters being murdered since 2013 in what mainstream media euphemistically terms ‘political violence’ will be close to 200. A similar number of RSS/BJP workers have been slaughtered in Kerala by communist and Islamist goons, the last such murder being that of young Nandhu R Krishna in February. Add on the murders of Hindu leaders in TN, West UP, Punjab, Kashmir by various anti-Hindu forces, and a terrifying picture of silencing Hindu voices across the country emerges.

Yet, such is the inherent Hinduphobia of the secular Indian state that everyone – from intelligentsia, media, judiciary, bureaucracy to politics – considers any voice that is pro-Hindu as ‘extremist’ while the real fascists – the Ccommunists, Islamists and ‘secular’ outfits like TMC – are considered ‘progressive and tolerant’.

The inability of the BJP leadership, starting from the PM/HM, to stand up for their workers and ensure justice and compensation for victim families by punishing the attackers, has not gone unnoticed and is having a cascading effect especially in West Bengal.

(With IANS inputs)

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