Written byShalini Ojha
In a shocking incident, an MLA of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Debendra Nath Ray, was found hanging near his home on Monday morning, sparking allegations from the saffron party that he has been murdered.
Ray, who represented Hemtabad Assembly seat, was last spotted by locals at a closed tea stall, about one kilometer away from his residence.
His family demanded a CBI investigation.
Ray, who fought 2016 Assembly elections on a CPM seat, switched over to BJP after 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
According to Ray's family, he left home around 1 am after receiving a phone call. "He did not return home afterward. In the morning, locals found him hanging from the shed of a closed tea stall. His hands were tied," the family told Indian Express.
The bereaved family is certain that Ray has been killed. "This is nothing but murder. We want a CBI inquiry into it," a relative said.
Meanwhile, a senior cop of North Dinajpur district, which houses Hemtabad, said an investigation has been launched and that they were awaiting the post-mortem report.
The body was sent to a hospital at Raiganj for autopsy.
BJP also supported the allegations of the family, with state President Dilip Ghosh saying someone close to Ray killed him.
"Why would he go out in the dead of the night? In West Bengal, an MLA has no protection. The law and order has collapsed here. A local TMC Yuva leader may be behind this. A full-fledged probe needs to be done," he added.
Similarly, BJP's Kailash Vijayvargiya said there is no end to targeted killings in Bengal. "BJP MLA who had left the TMC has been murdered. Was it because he joined the BJP?" he asked.
BJP Chief JP Nadda also expressed his disdain by tweeting that the "suspected killing is extremely shocking and deplorable."
He said law and order has collapsed under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The suspected heinous killing of Debendra Nath Ray, BJP MLA from Hemtabad in West Bengal, is extremely shocking and deplorable. This speaks of the Gunda Raj failure of law and order in the Mamta govt. People will not forgive such a govt in the future. We strongly condemn this.— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) July 13, 2020
Denying involvement of his party, Trinamool's Kanaia Agarwal said a probe would establish if he committed suicide or was murdered.
"This is a case of unnatural death. He was called outside his home in the dead of the night. An investigation will help us find out who had called him and why he had gone outside," Agarwal, Trinamool's President in North Dinajpur district, said.
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