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Bengal BJP candidate hurt in post-poll violence succumbs

The family members of Saha claimed that he was brutally beaten up by Trinamool ‘goons’ on May 2, in which he had received severe head injuries

IANS | Kolkata |

Fresh controversy erupted in West Bengal after a defeated BJP candidate from the Magrahat West Assembly constituency in South 24 Parganas district — Dhurjati Saha — who was allegedly assaulted by Trinamool Congress workers after the announcement of election results on May 2, died at a city hospital on Wednesday evening.

Claiming foul play, the BJP demanded a CBI investigation into the murder.

The family members of Saha claimed that he was brutally beaten up by Trinamool ‘goons’ on May 2, in which he had received severe head injuries. Though Saha was immediately shifted to a local hospital and then transferred to a hospital in Thakurpukur on the southern fringes of Kolkata, he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.

Saha’s wife also demanded a CBI probe into the murder. Local Trinamool MLA Giasuddin Mollah said that he did not know who had assaulted Saha, as he was inside the counting centre at that time.

“He was beaten up by the henchmen of the local Trinamool MLA after the counting trends showed he (Saha) was trailing. He had to be admitted to the hospital the next day,” said BJP MP Arjun Singh, who visited the hospital in Thakurpukur after Saha’s death.

Claiming that it was another instance of post-poll atrocities by the Trinamool against its political opponents, Singh said the party would take up the matter with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) soon.

After the death of Abhijit Sarkar, a BJP worker who was allegedly hacked to death by Trinamool ‘goons’ in Maniktala in Kolkata, the death of Saha will surely embarrass the ruling party.

Though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has claimed that there was no incident of post-poll violence in the state, an NHRC report has said that there were several cases of rape and murder after the announcement of Assembly election results.

Accepting the recommendations of an NHRC panel, the Calcutta High Court had on August 19 ordered a CBI investigation into all alleged cases of heinous crimes like rape and murder.

Saha’s wife alleged that her husband was beaten up outside the counting centre in Magrahat by three-four Trinamool workers who were close to Mollah, and the police, even after being informed, did not come to his rescue even when he had sought their help.

“He could be taken back home much later following the intervention of local BJP leaders and some residents of the area. As his condition deteriorated, he was taken to a hospital. We demand a CBI probe into the incident and arrest of those behind the attack,” she said.