In what is being seen yet another flashpoint between Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee, the former accused the state police of acting in a bipartisan manner in the killing of a BJP worker in North 24 Paragnas and called upon the Trinamool Congress supremo to stop "political violence" and "targeted killing".
Manish Shukla, a BJP councillor, was shot dead by two bike-borne assailants near Titagarh in North 24 Parganas district on Sunday night. Kailash Vijayavargiya, BJP's central observer for West Bengal, was quick to accuse the ruling Trinamool Congress of the killing.
Governor Dhankhar, who has been at loggerhead with the CM, quickly took to Twitter, summoning the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) and Director General of Police to appear before him over "worsening law and order situation leading to dastardly killing of Manish Shukla".
However, the Governor said, the two top officers didn't respond to his summons. Instead, newly appointed Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay called on the Governor.
"Conveyed my concern of the present alarming scenario to the new Chief Secretary. I am sure the Chief Minister would be indicated all these critical aspects that run down democratic governance and lawlessness. Political violence and targeted killings must stop," the Governor said.
BJP lashes out at TMC
On Monday, BJP observed a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Barrackpore area in protest of the leader who joined the BJP from TMC in 2019. BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayavargiya visited the residence of Shukla. He also met the Governor and demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"It is shameful that the TMC has now started politics of annihilation of political opponents. We don't have any faith in local police as this happened in front of the police station. We want a CBI inquiry," said Vijayvargiya.
It is noteworthy that the Governor has been taking aims at the state government, accusing the police of working as "political workers" which "can't be trusted".
The murder has raised concerns that the political killings may rise in the state as the elections near. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCB), West Bengal has reported the maximum number of political murders in the country.
The total number of murders due to "political reason" in the country stood at 61 last year, out of which West Bengal has the highest number of killings at 12 cases, a repetition of its 2018 data.
According to data compiled by the Indian Express, June 1, at least 12 political workers — six from the BJP, five from Trinamool, and one from the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) — have been killed, and an MLA and three workers of the BJP have been found hanging.