Senior BJP leader Debendra Nath Ray was found hanging near his home in Hemtabad area of North Dinajpur district on Monday morning, police sources said.

“Ray was found hanging near a shop at Hemtabad area this (Monday) morning. We have started an investigation,” a senior district police officer said.

Ray had contested and won the Hemtabad assembly segment, a reserved seat for Scheduled Castes, on a CPI(M) ticket but had switched over to the BJP last year after the Lok Sabha polls.

BJP president JP Nadda, however, called it a suspected murder as he tweeted, “the suspected heinous killing of Debendra Nath Ray, BJP MLA from Hemtabad in West Bengal, is extremely shocking and deplorable.”