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BJP-called shutdown observed in 8 north Bengal districts

PUNJAB NEWSLINE BUREAU
July 14, 2020 12:47 PM

KOLKATA: A dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by the West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being observed in eight north Bengal districts on Tuesday amid sporadic disruptions by angry agitators following the "mysterious death" of the party's North Dinajpur MLA.

BJP legislator from Hemtabad, Debendra Nath Ray, was found mysteriously hanging a few meters away from his home near a local market on Monday morning.

According to police sources, BJP activists took out rallies in Malda district and forcibly closed the district head post office. They also staged a sit-in demonstration disrupting the regular transport services in the district this morning.

A group of BJP workers staged protests at the depot of North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSCT) and also blocked the National Highway (NH)-34.

Similarly, BJP workers also hit the roads in Cooch Behar district protesting the incident of their Hemtabad MLA's death. Daily transport services were disrupted by BJP supporters at Ghughumari area in the district.

As many as three buses were partially ransacked by irate political activists. At least 15 people were arrested in connection with the incident. A minor clash also took place between BJP activists and Trinamool Congress supporters at Toofanganj in Cooch Behar district, police said.

"The law and order situation in Bengal has reached an all-time low. We demand immediate resignation of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. We want the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe into the incident of Debendra Nath Ray's mysterious death," said Nisith Pramanik, a BJP MP from Cooch Behar.

BJP state President Dilip Ghosh on Monday called for the 12-hour shutdown in eight North Bengal districts. Ghosh along with BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha and other state leaders also met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at the Raj Bhavan demanding the CBI enquiry into the matter on Monday evening.

The West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) took over the investigation into the death of the BJP MLA. Police sources said a suicide note was recovered from deceased's shirt pocket which mentioned two names. The police, however, refused to disclose the names.

Ray had joined the BJP in 2019. Earlier, he was elected on a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) ticket in 2016. The family members of the deceased BJP lawmaker had alleged that Ray was murdered for his political affiliation and demanded a thorough probe into the matter.

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