Bengal post-poll violence: Victim’s body handed over to family after 130 days

After 130 days, the Kolkata police under the direction of the court on Thursday handed over the body of slain BJP worker Abhijit Sarkar to his family members and leaders of the party.

Sarkar was allegedly killed in the post-poll violence that broke out in West Bengal after the declaration of Assembly election results on May 2.

Sarkar’s body was preserved at the NRS Medical College and Hospital here for the purpose of investigation. It was handed over to his family following directions from the court. The court had earlier ordered a DNA test on the body since Sarkar’s family could not identify it.

The family had continuously alleged that the Kolkata police are not investigating the matter properly and are not arresting the ‘Trinamool goons’ responsible for the murder, who are not only moving scot-free, but also threatening the family members.

Biswajit Sarkar, the elder brother of the victim, has filed petitions to probe Sarkar’s death before the Supreme Court and the Calcutta high court.

Sarkar was allegedly strangled to death with a television cable. He was the only BJP worker who died in the state capital in the post-poll violence.

On August 19, based on a report by the National Human Rights Commission, the Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI investigation into the cases of rape and murder that were reported during the post-poll violence in the state.

After the central agency spoke to the family members of Sarkar, the latter requested to release his body which was allowed by the court.

There was chaos all over NRS Medical College and Hospital in the afternoon when Biswajit Sarkar along with BJP leaders reached there to take possession of the body.

The BJP leaders, including MP Arjun Singh, Sajal Ghosh and others, complained of police non-cooperation leading to unnecessary delay in handing over the body to the family.

Devdutta Maji, a BJP leader, was seen engaged in verbal duel with the police officers present there. Maji allegedly slapped a home guard when Kolkata police personnel were managing the entry point to the morgue where the body was kept.

“There was some jostling when the police tried to stop us. I did not hit anyone intentionally. If charges are pressed, I will fight them out in the court,” said Maji.

Though the Kolkata police did not comment on the alleged assault by Maji, Trinamool Congress general secretary Kunal Ghosh said, “He should be booked immediately. The government made all the arrangements to hand over the body, but the BJP created trouble.”

Defending Maji, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, “If he slapped a home guard, he did not do anything wrong. I cannot believe someone to be so inhuman. They are still harassing and insulting our people.”

The body was then taken to the state BJP headquarters in central Kolkata. It was later taken to Sarkar’s home. The cremation took place in the afternoon.