Ranaghat, June 25: An elderly BJP activist was allegedly killed in Nadia’s Dhantala during a clash between the two rival groups of a club with allegiance to Trinamul Congress and BJP on Saturday night.
Local residents claimed that the victim Narottam Bagchi, 62, father-in-law of a lady BJP candidate of Bahirgachi gram panchayat, was killed apparently to ensure dominance over the other group to take control of the club management that has an influential role in the run-up of the rural poll in the area.
The incident occurred at about 9 pm, when Bagchi, a little after returning from campaigning for her daughter-in-law, went to the club – Gadadhar Smriti Sangha to attend a scheduled managing committee meeting that was called to discuss some alleged unscrupulous activities of a section of club members.
Local residents who witnessed the incident claimed that during an altercation among the members, Atindra Dhali, a Trinamul activist and rival group member, had hit Bagchi on his chest which fell him unconscious. He also suffered a head injury being hit with a hard object, they claimed.
Bagchi was taken to the Sabdalpur primary health centre, where he was declared dead. Police have begun a probe. But, prime accused Dhali went absconding.
The incident has meanwhile, ignited political tension as the victim’s family alleged it was a murder. Victim’s brother Tarun Bagchi has alleged that Atindra Dhali on a number of occasions had threatened him of dire consequences for his association with BJP.
“My elder brother was vocal about Atindra’s unethical activities. But, Atindra took the matter politically and targeted him. On Saturday night he began punching my brother to punish him for his role as a BJP activist”, the victim’s brother Tarun said.
Echoing the allegations, BJP’s Nadia South district organizing committee secretary Bipul Ukil termed the incident as a “planned murder”. “The elderly man was a long-time target of Trinamul’s miscreants. Now they are desperately trying to project the incident as a mere club affair”, Ukil said.
Trinamul’s Ranaghat-II block president Rajesh Bhowmik, however, rubbished the allegation. “There was no politics behind the death rather it was a fight for power of the club among two groups of local people. BJP is trying to paint the incident with political color to gain mileage before the panchayat election”, he said.