Violence in Coochbehar: BJP man allegedly beaten to death 

BJP blames TMC, calls it ‘murder politics’, party leadership plans regular visits to state in preparation for elections 2021 

Violence in Coochbehar: BJP man allegedly beaten to death

Violent clashes were reported from the Cooch Behar area of West Bengal, where a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member is reported to have been killed. According to information put out by the BJP’s Bengal unit the deceased has been identified as Kalachand Karmokar, a booth secretary for the party. The BJP has alleged that he “was brutally beaten to death by TMC goons”. The party has targeted Bengal chief minister Mamaa Banerjee, “Pishi, you cannot expect people of Bengal to support your politics of blood and terror. Enough. Start counting your days!”



Babul Supriyo, singer turned BJP leader has also blamed Trinamool workers for the death of Kalachand Karmakar, he alleged that the “administration turned a blind eye and took no action”. Supriyo too said the “people will respond to this ‘arrogant’ government”.



According to a report by The Hindustan Times, the BJP worker died in a hospital at Tufanganj in Cooch Behar district of north Bengal on Wednesday morning after he was injured in a clash between members of two community clubs. It was Malati Rava Ray, president of the BJP’s Cooch Behar district unit, who had alleged that Karmakar was “killed by criminals shielded” by the Trinamool Congress (TMC), “two local residents, Biplab Karmakar and Parimal Burman, were injured when they tried to save the BJP worker. They are admitted in Tufanganj hospital. Our workers are being targeted regularly,” said Ray. 

A police officer from Tufanganj police station told the media that the  clash was triggered by “a quarrel between members of two community clubs that had organised Kali Puja,” one person has already been arrested. 

Cooch Behar superintendent of police K Kannan told the media that 55 year old Kalachand Karmokar had tried to intervene and stop the quarrel between members of the two clubs, when “someone punched Karmakar in the face and he fell unconscious. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.” 

The TMC district general secretary Abdul Jalil Ahmed, however said the clash had “nothing to do with politics. There was a quarrel between members of the two community clubs. TMC is not involved in any way.” 

However, the BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya alleged in Kolkata that Karmakar became a target because he was polling booth-level worker, reported HT, “Our party is strengthening its base in all polling booth areas. The ruling party is trying to foil our strategy by targeting booth-level workers.”

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP President JP Nadda who have been visiting West Bengal frequently are reported to do so even more. According to Times Now, the two BJP leaders will visit the state more frequently to “boost the party’s campaign ahead of the 2021 polls”. According to the news report BJP has handpicked 11 leaders “take care of West Bengal campaign as Party targets 200 seats in the State.” The political reactions to the violence Cooch Behar is indicative of this too. Now the  two senior BJP leaders have planned to visit the state separately every month  till the assembly elections are over, and take stock of the party organisation ahead of the elections.

With an eye on the elections, the BJP on Tuesday divided the state into five organisational zones and put central leaders in charge of them reported HT. Senior BJP leaders Sunil Deodhar, Vinod Tawde, Dushyant Gautam, Harish Dwivedi and Vinod Sonkar have been handpicked by the party top brass to head the North Bengal, Rarh Banga (south-western districts), Nabadwip, Midnapore and Kolkata organisational zones, the BJP told the media. 

The Telegraph had also reported violent clashes in Tufanganj subdivision of the Cooch Behar district on November 17. It stated that the clashes were between two groups of the Trinamool Congress, in an alleged attempt to “gain control of the area by the two lobbies”. The police detained around 16 Trinamool supporters after the two groups, one headed by Majibur Rehman, Trinamul president of Deocharai panchayat, and the other by Farooque Mondal, his predecessor, clashed at Chulkanir Bazar on Sunday evening reported the Telegraph. However, there were more clashes on Monday between both the groups who came armed with bricks, rods, stones and sharp weapons. They managed to vandalise vehicles and injure each before the police team reached the spot and dispersed the crowds. According to the news report, a number of Trinamool supporters, including Mondal and Rehman, were detained by the police.

As the Trinamool continues to battle internally, the BJP is working on overdrive to come to power in West Bengal next year. The state is crucial for the BJP, and the party has mobilised its top leaders to work towards winning the Assembly elections scheduled next year.  However, there are some reports of fresh cracks appearing within the Bengal BJP as well. Subrato Chattopadhyay, a long-time member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and someone who was seen as Dilip Ghosh’s right-hand man was removed as state general secretary in late October. He was replaced by another old RSS hand Amitava Chakravorty who was until recently party organizing secretary in neighbouring Odisha. According to a report in The Wire, the move could be a way to check Ghosh’s power and authority in the state.

Ghosh’s style of functioning has also led to rifts in the party in the state. He had recently dissolved all district committees of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the party in the state. This was seen as a rather public snubbing of BJYM president and Bishnupur MP Saumitra Khan who had finalised the list of district committees, allegedly without consulting ‘seniors’ in the party.


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