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TMC vs BJP Faceoff: Rise in Political Killings in West Bengal as Assembly Polls Inch Closer

File photo of slain BJP leader Manish Shukla

File photo of slain BJP leader Manish Shukla

According to a report by BJP media cell, nearly 115 BJP workers have been killed since 2014. Out of these, 10 were killed in last 80 days and seven in last 60 days.

BJP leader and local councillor Manish Shukla was shot dead on Sunday by two bike-borne assailants near Titagarh in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal. The incident took place when he was speaking to some locals and party workers near a local police station on BT Road. Shukla, who was immediately rushed to a nearby private hospital, was declared brought dead.

Soon after the incident, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called for a 12-hour bandh (shutdown) in state’s Barrackpore area on Monday, accusing the ruling Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) for “killing” Shukla.

According to a report by BJP media cell, nearly 115 BJP workers have been killed since 2014. Out of these, 10 were killed in last 80 days and seven in last 60 days.

Here’s a timeline on how many such incidents were reported since the beginning of the phased ‘Unlock’ on June 1 in West Bengal:

June 10: TMC worker Gautam Das was beaten to death in Burdwan.

June 18: Paban Jana, the son of a BJP worker in Paschim Medinipur (West Midnapore), died in hospital after being hacked in a clash the previous day.

July 3: TMC worker Ashwini Manna was beaten to death, allegedly by SUCI supporters in Baruipur, South 24-Parganas.

July 4: Sudhangshu Jana, a South 24-Parganas SUCI leader, was murdered and his home set on fire, allegedly by TMC workers.

July 5: Krishna Debnath was beaten in Nabadwip, Nadia; he died in hospital in Kolkata after two days. The BJP said he was a party worker.

July 16: BJP worker Bapi Ghosh was beaten to death in Nadia.

August 6: TMC worker Israel Khan died in a crude bomb attack, allegedly by a rival

August 15: BJP worker Sudarshan Pramanik was killed after a BJP-TMC clash over flag-hoisting in Hooghly.

September 6: BJP worker Robin Pal was killed in Kalna, Burdwan, after a clash over NREGS work, allegedly with local TMC workers.

September 17: Ganesh Sarkar was hacked to death near his home in Mathabhanga, Cooch Behar; his party, the TMC, accused the BJP of the murder.

September 17: Sheikh Nasim, the brother of a TMC worker, was shot during a clash between two TMC groups in Keshpur, Paschim Medinipur. A 14-year-old bystander, Sheikh Majahar, was also killed.

September 19: BJP worker Dipak Mondol was killed in a crude bomb attack while on his way back home after a sports tournament.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Arjun Singh said, “We have appealed to the CBI as they can only investigate impartially. Let’s see what happens”, claiming that 120 BJP leaders have been killed in West Bengal.​