Tragic Death in West Bengal Panchayat Elections

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A man, whose wife is an independent candidate in the July 8 panchayat elections in West Bengal, was found dead in the state’s Birbhum district on Thursday, hours after he went missing.

Local residents discovered the body of Dilip Mahara on Thursday morning next to a pond in the Serenda village of the district.

His wife, Chitre Mahara, claimed her husband was a worker and was killed by the Trinamool Congress, a charge denied by the ruling party.

Chitre said, “He left the house at 4.30 pm on Wednesday and I talked to him over the phone at 8 pm. Since then, he hasn’t been seen by anyone”.

Utpal Mahara, the son of the deceased, said, “I was not able to find my father since 9 pm. He has been killed by the men of Kali Banerjee (Trinamool Congress’s Birbhum district joint convener). Let him be arrested. I want punishment for them. Let the case be investigated”.

According to a police officer, Dilip was killed using a sharp weapon and the actual cause of his death has to be ascertained.

Chitre was supposed to file nomination papers as a BJP candidate, however, the party said it did not give her the ticket.

Reacting to the allegation against him, Banerjee said, “Trinamool does not engage in politics of murder. Let them investigate his death. Our workers are not involved”.

Trinamool District vice-president Malay Mukhopadhyay said, “The BJP is engaging in politics for profit. Let the police investigate the murder”.

A total of 17 people have been killed since the polls were announced on June 8, with the opposition party pointing fingers at the Trinamool. On its part, the Trinamool has called the allegations baseless and its leaders have pointed out that a majority of those killed belonged to their party.

The single-phase West Bengal panchayat elections will be held on Saturday, and the votes will be counted on July 11.

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