Families of BJP workers killed in West Bengal share their ordeal

New Delhi, Jul 24 (PTI) The families of BJP workers, who were the victims of alleged political violence perpetrated by TMC in West Bengal, on Wednesday said they had "been denied justice" and were being made to run from pillar to post due to administrative apathy. The family members came to the national capital to narrate their ordeal at an event, titled 'People's Tribunal on Political Violence in Bengal', organised by Call For Justice and India Foundation. Former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the event where 23 families narrated their ordeal. While the manner in which their loved ones were allegedly killed by Trinamool Congress "goons" was different, the fact that they were awaiting justice was the common thread in all the stories. A panel comprising judges and social activists heard their stories.BJP activist Ajay Mandi (22) hailing from Ghatal in West Midnapore district was found hanged in a remote forest on June 22. His brother Srikanta Mandi said, "TMC workers took him to an unidentified location and strangulated him and later hung him. Police said he committed suicide and have not done any investigation. We have not even received a copy of the post-mortem report." Srikanta alleged his brother was killed because of his "political affiliation". In a similar incident, Tapas Bagdi, a BJP worker from Labhpur town in Birbhum district, was found hanged from a tree on October 21, 2018 near the banks of a river. His brother Hari Prasad said the incident was an outcome of his brother's active involvement with the BJP. "He was found hanged and we know he was killed but police are saying he committed suicide. His family is unable to claim insurance because of the police's claim."Those who supported us during this time were also harassed by the police and cases were filed against them while the local party office was vandalised. We want justice and peace in our village. We do not trust the local police," Prasad said. Dulal Kumar, a resident of Balarampur, had gheraoed the local police station following the death of 18-year-old Trilochan Mahato, who was found hanged from a tree with a placard around his neck, "You deserve to die for doing politics and working for BJP at this young age." Little did Kumar know he would meet the same fate as Mahato. Kumar was found hanged from a tower. He had recently been elected as the secretary of BJP's Mandal Committee and his body was found on June 2. "On June 1, he did not return home after he left to hand over dinner to our father at his ration shop. His bike was discovered near a lake in the forest area but he was nowhere to be found," recalled his brother. Krishna alleged that police were tracking his brother's location through his cell phone but were misleading them and keeping them in the dark about the actual location. "At 6 am the next day, his body was found hanged from a tower. We even gave names of the suspects when our brother went missing but no action was taken. They are roaming freely and continue to threaten us. We have informed police about the constant threats were are receiving but there has been no resolution," Krishna said. He demanded a CBI probe into the killing of his brother. PTI CORR SLB SLB SMNSMN