Demanding a CBI probe into the death of BJYM worker Arjun Chowrasia in Kolkata’s Kashipur, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said a culture of violence and a fear psychosis was prevalent in Bengal. Shah who is on a two-day visit to the state today visited Chowrasia’s home after news broke that the worker had been found hanging in an abandoned building in the area in mysterious circumstances. The BJP leader who had crossed swords with West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee last year during a campaign for the elections to the state assembly, said the BJP party will demand “the strictest punishment” from the courts of law for “whoever is guilty of the gruesome crime”. “Yesterday TMC celebrated one year of its third term in office and now we have this case of Chowrasia being `killed’,” the home minister said to reporters after meeting the worker’s family members. He also added “Union home ministry is taking serious note of Chowrasia’s death and has sought a report on it.” The home minister also said Chowrasia’s family had complained that his body had been taken away forcibly. The TMC meanwhile claimed Chowrasia was associated with the party and not the BJP.
Local TMC MLA Atin Ghosh, who also visited the spot ahead of Shah, claimed Chowrasia was associated with the party and had even campaigned for it during the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections held recently, which had earned him the wrath of a section of local BJP.
”BJP assembled outsiders during today’s protest as it has no base in the area,” Ghosh added.
BJP functionaries said Shah was upset after hearing the news. ”Shah Ji told us to cancel his grand welcome at the NSC Bose airport and he has rushed to Chowrasia’s residence,” he said. Shah is in the city from north Bengal on the second leg of his two-day visit.
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State BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya on the other hand claimed that the man was an efficient BJP party worker. ”We found him dead this morning. Chowrasia was to be part of a bike rally that was to be taken out from Kolkata airport to welcome Amit Shah Ji,” he said.
Refuting the BJP charge, TMC MP Santanu Sen said, ”The allegations against us are baseless. Let the police investigate the matter”.
The police said an investigation into the death had started. Police officers faced protests from BJP activists at the spot as they tried to take away the body. Later a large police contingent was rushed to the spot to control the situation and it took away the body to R G Kar Medical College and Hospital for post mortem.